The JJ Abrams-helmed Star Trek reboot films have divided fans to say the least. While they have generally succeeded financially and critically, many Trek fans have yet to fully embrace Abrams’ style regarding the franchise’s the newer direction and tone. Despite this, there was a strong consensus that – now with director Justin Lin at the helm (with Abrams still on as producer) – the latest entry, Star Trek: Beyond, was a strong step in the right direction. With that, many fans – including myself – were eager to see where the next film would take us.
Sadly, alongside a reinvigorated excitement that many of us felt after seeing Beyond, the financial numbers for the film simply did not come through in the same way that they had for the previous two in the eyes of the studio. Early this year, Zachary Quinto said in an interview, “I’m hopeful that we’ll do another one, but there’s no guarantee.” More recently, Karl Urban indicated in an interview with Screencrush that the future of a hypothetical next film is uncertain. While we are fortunate to have the opportunity to see new Trek on the small screen with Star Trek: Discovery, it would be sad to see the end of the Kelvin Universe just as it started to improve.
Star Trek‘s place on the big screen may still be in limbo, however there was a recent jolt of excitement coming by the way of Quentin Tarantino. According to a story from Deadline, Tarantino – who is a professed Star Trek fan – has approached JJ Abrams with an idea for the next film. Abrams was apparently impressed with the idea and the two have moved forward to assemble a writer’s room to hash out an official script to submit to Paramount.
Now, at this point there isn’t that much to be said about this. It’s all very preliminary and could very easily go nowhere. On the other hand, however, it’s an opportunity for Trek fans across the internet to speculate wildly about what may come and to vigorously debate the merits and/or potential of a Tarantino-helmed Star Trek film. Arguably, it is a simultaneously exciting yet skeptic-inducing concept. On the one hand it’s cool to see such a high profile and talented director setting his sights on our beloved franchise, yet at the same time, one has to wonder, do Quentin Tarantino and Star Trek really go together? Either way, the whole thing is undoubtedly fascinating.
Any possible details regarding a plot are under wraps at this point, however one could point to a 2015 interview that Tarantino did on the Nerdist podcast to begin speculating. In the interview (also detailed here), he mirrors the sentiment from countless fans by expressing his appreciation for the reboot cast but overall disappointment with the direction the franchise has taken. Later, he goes on to discuss his ideas that would tie in more heavily with classic episodes and also embrace time travel and alternate realities – specifically citing the influence of the classic episode, The City on the Edge of Forever:
I would be more inclined to do a Star Trek kind of thing rather than Star Wars. I haven’t considered considered it like I’m going to do it, but I did web spin a little bit about the idea…The obvious one would be The City on the Edge of Forever. That’s what everyone would go to, but there’s a reason why everyone would go to that! It’s one of the classic stories of all time. And one of the great time travel stories.
It’s highly probable that Tarantino’s ideas may have evolved since 2015 and his pitch may have nothing to do with time travel or alternate realities at all, bit it’s still fun to wonder – and it just might fit in with earlier ideas to try and bring back Chris Hemsworth as George Kirk. Personally, if he were given the opportunity and chose to take the film down that route, I think it might be interesting to see more connection with the Prime timeline in some manner recognizing some of the differences since the two realities diverged – maybe even bringing in the Department of Temporal Investigations.
What about all of you, readers of The Continuing Voyage? What do you think of the idea of a Tarantino-helmed or inspired Star Trek film?