May 29 2024

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Writer Mark L. Smith Talks Tarantino Trek

2 min read

Several years ago, it was announced that a writers’ room had been assembled to throw around ideas for a new Star Trek movie, either featuring the Kelvin-timeline cast or an entirely new cast. One of the more surprising bits of news that arose from that writers’ room was not only that writer Mark L. Smith (The Revenant) had cracked a story and a script, but also that acclaimed writer-director Quentin Tarantino (Pulp FictionThe Hateful Eight) had been involved in developing the story with Smith, and was interested in producing and potentially directing the film.

While the film never materialized, with Tarantino confirming earlier this year that the project was dead, and firm details never emerged (one popular rumor was that it was a new take on the classic Original Series episode “A Piece of the Action”), the prospect of a Quentin Tarantino Star Trek film continues to be an intriguing, if polarizing, topic for Trek fans to discuss.

Recently, Smith appeared on the Bulletproof Screenwriting podcast, and talked a bit about the film, which now sounds like it was much further along in development than originally thought.

“They just called me and said, ‘Hey, are you up for it? Do you want to go? Quentin wants to hook up.’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ And that was the first day I met Quentin, in the room and he’s reading a scene that he wrote and it was this awesome cool gangster scene, and he’s acting it out and back and forth. I told him, I was so mad I didn’t record it on my phone. It would be so valuable. It was amazing.

Then just we started working. I would go hang out at his house one night and we would watch old gangster films. We were there for hours … We were just kicking back watching gangster films, laughing at the bad dialogue, but talking about how it would bleed into what we wanted to do

Kirk’s in it, we’ve got him. All the characters are there. It would be those guys. I guess you would look at it like all the episodes of the show didn’t really connect. So this would be almost its own episode. A very cool episode. There’s a little time travel stuff going on. There’s all this other … it’s really wild.”

While the Tarantino / Smith project is no longer in the works, a new Star Trek film is currently in development, to be directed by WandaVision’s Matt Shakman and written by the duo of Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Lindsey Beer; the untitled film is set for release sometime in 2023.

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