The Star Trek movie franchise is lost in space at the moment. Despite being a long-running and beloved property, the future of the Star Trek films is unclear after the lackluster box office performance of 2016's Star Trek: Beyond. The direction a fourth film could go in is the subject of much speculation, especially with the wild card of a possible Quentin Tarantino Star Trek movie in play. As it searches for the future of the franchise, Paramount is apparently not putting all its eggs in one basket. According to franchise star and current Spock, Zachary Quinto, there are possibly three different scripts currently in the works, as he explained:
First of all, I think there's a couple of scripts. Because there was a script being written before Quentin Tarantino came up with his idea for a potential film. And so I think they are kind of developing more than one. So I don't know what is going to happen. Quentin is off doing another movie. So I feel like we're in a state of anticipation. All of us are really excited about the idea of working with Quentin on a Trek film, but I know there's Simon Pegg and Doug Jung, who wrote the last film, are writing a script, and there are another set of writers writing a script. So I don't know. I don't know what's going to happen.
It certainly sounds like the Star Trek stars are as in the dark as the rest of us at the moment. The fact that there are multiple scripts being worked on for the next Star Trek film is unsurprising. Multiple scripts being commissioned is nothing unusual, and Paramount undoubtedly wants all the best ideas for the future of the Starship Enterprise. These three may not even be the only ones. What's interesting is that the Tarantino factor could vastly change the equation on where Star Trek 4 could go. This doesn't seem like a situation where the studio has a basic idea where it wants to go and has commissioned several scripts for the best take; this sounds more like Paramount is open to any and all suggestions, no matter how radical.
Simon Pegg and Doug Jung wrote the script for the critically acclaimed, yet underseen Star Trek: Beyond, a film that even appealed to Trekkies critical of the newer Star Trek J.J.-verse. So while audiences would be lucky to see another one of their takes, I wonder if Beyond's box office will hurt their chances. At one point there was talk of Star Trek 4 seeing the return of Chris Hemsworth's George Kirk in some sort of time travel adventure, so it is possible that either Pegg & Jung or the other group of writers is working with that premise while the other group works on something different. Though if we're being honest, the real question mark here is the Quentin Tarantino film simply because of how different we imagine it could be.
If Quentin Tarantino does come aboard for a Star Trek film, that film stands a strong chance of being rated R, basically ensuring that it would be markedly different than any of the other possible takes. Zachary Quinto expressed excitement at the possibility of working with Quentin Tarantino, a sentiment shared and voiced by his co-stars. But as Zachary Quinto notes in his interview with ET Canada, Quentin Tarantino is off making Once Upon A Time In Hollywood at the moment. There is a writer's room workshopping Tarantino's idea, but there is seemingly no guarantee that Tarantino will direct, and then there's the question of how far out Paramount is willing to push production to snag the beloved filmmaker.
Unlike when the Star Trek film franchise was rebooted in 2009, the property is now back home on TV in Star Trek: Discovery, so there is a fix for Trekkies out there while the movie side of things gets sorted out. Hopefully the multiple scripts being worked on indicates that Paramount is looking for the best possible story and path forward for the franchise, even if it takes a little longer to get to the big screen. We'll keep you updated as Star Trek continues to boldly go... somewhere.