So… Tarantino eh?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week you probably know about Tarantino making a bid for directing a new Star Trek film.
After Star Trek Beyond’s (2016) less than stellar performance and critical reception, we can’t blame Paramount for opening up the field to something a little bit different especially with the apparent success of the darker Star Trek: Discovery (2017) which is slated for another season in 2018.
Aside from the initial hype about Tarantino pitching anything to Paramount, one of the big headlines has been him provisionally securing permission for a film he directs to have an NC-17 rating. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows any of Tarantino’s work, however, it is a change of pace for Star Trek films which have not rated above a PG-13 (US) or 12A (UK) rating.
Before Discovery, Tarantino securing an NC-17 rating from Paramount would be almost unthinkable, but the BBFC have rated Discovery as a 15 (UK) which would in all probability translate to an R rating in the US. However, Discovery’s positive critical reception and good ratings despite its more mature content has potentially emboldened Paramount to allow a darker, bloodier Trek to get a foot in the door.
From Paramount’s perspective, I don’t think they feel they can lose with a Tarantino directed Trek, even with an NC-17 rating restricting access. If Tarantino is directing, his fans will follow and with the added interest of Star Trek, producing the first NC-17 Star Trek film and Tarantino’s ability to do more with less budget they potentially have a golden goose. With the success of Star Wars with the younger audiences, Paramount’s Star Trek has been pushed out of the market and instead of competing it seems they have decided to move into unexplored space.
Tarantino himself is a fan of Star Trek. A 2015 Nerdist podcast <> featured Tarantino name dropping City on the Edge of Forever and Yesterday’s Enterprise as two of the strongest episodes just asking for a reboot. As Tarantino said in the interview:
“You could take some of the great classic Star Trek episodes and just easily expand them to 90 minutes or more and really do some amazing, amazing stuff. The obvious one would be “City on the Edge of Forever,” but there’s a reason everyone would go to that. It’s one of the classic stories of all time, and one of the great time-travel stories.”
City on the Edge of Forever has all the right elements: it features the ST: TOS characters, a love story, it deals with time travel, and potentially could fit into the AU nicely. Additionally, there’s the unused elements of City’s original scripts that could be used (arguably better than the finished product). With Tarantino previously name dropping two episodes with time travel in them as being of particular interest, could we be looking at the AU somehow moving back into line with the Prime universe, or perhaps a soft reset of AU? Maybe we’ll see the return of Edith Keeler to the screens.
Things get a little more interesting with Patrick Stewart recently (THR 8/12/2017) voicing interest in being involved in a Tarantino directed Trek–if there was a role for Jean-Luc. This isn’t the first time he’s expressed a willingness to wear his spacesuit again, Stewart previously said he would bring Picard back if there was “a very good and very serious reason” (IBTimesTV 2013). Considering Tarantino’s comments about Yesterday’s Enterprise and Stewart’s swift reaction to news of Tarantino directing the next Star Trek film I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see some sort of collaboration should this film enter production.
And let’s face it, with AUs and time travel I wouldn’t put it past either of these men to make it so.