Quentin Tarantino Clears Up A Mystery About His Star Trek Project

Kirk and Spock in Star Trek Into Darkness

Early this year, months after Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth walked away from Star Trek 4 reportedly due to salary disputes, the project was shelved, and there’s been no indication it’ll be dusted off. That said, there’s another Star Trek movie in development based off an idea Quentin Tarantino came up with and The Revenant’s Mark L. Smith turned into a script.

Given that CBS All Access has returned to the original Star Trek timeline with Star Trek: Discovery and the upcoming Picard, there have been questions if this Quentin Tarantino Star Trek movie would be set in the original timeline or the Kelvin timeline that 2009’s Star Trek, 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness and 2016’s Star Trek Beyond exists in. Now Tarantino has answered: it’d be set in that latter continuity. According to the filmmaker:

I don’t know how much I can say. The one thing I can say is it would deal with the Chris Pine timeline. Now, I still don’t quite understand, and JJ [Abrams] can’t explain it to me, and my editor has tried to explain it to me and I still don’t get it… about something happened in the first movie that now kind of wiped the slate clean. I don’t buy that. I don’t like it. I don’t appreciate it. I don’t — fuck that… I want the whole series to have happened, it just hasn’t happened yet. No, Benedict Cumberbatch, or whatever his name is, is not Khan, alright? Khan is Khan. And I told JJ, like, ‘I don’t understand this. I don’t like it.’ And then he was like, ‘Ignore it! Nobody likes it. I don’t understand it. Just do whatever you want. If you want it to happen the exact way it happens on the series, it can.’

So while Quentin Tarantino doesn’t grasp the mechanics of how the Kelvin timeline came to be (red matter created a black hole that transported Leonard Nimoy’s Spock and a group of Romulans back in time, nothing too complicated), that would be the continuity his story would be set in. Fortunately for Tarantino, JJ Abrams, who directed the first two Star Trek reboot movies and has since left his mark on the Star Wars universe, is okay with the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood writer/director taking whatever creative liberties he feels necessary to make his story work.

During his interview on MTV’s Happy Sad Confused podcast, Quentin Tarantino made it clear that he’s a huge fan of Star Trek: The Original Series, particularly William Shatner’s James T. Kirk. However, Tarantino was impressed with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto’s respective portrayals of Kirk and Spock, hence why he’d like to work with them. As he put it:

The reason I was actually intrigued by the JJ Abrams version of it is because I thought Chris Pine did a fantastic job not just playing Capt. Kirk but playing William Shatner’s captain — he is William Shatner. He’s not just another guy, he’s William Shatner’s Capt. Kirk. And it’s literally, Zachary Quinto is literally Leonard Nimoy’s — because they both have the same scene together — he’s his Spock. They fucking nail it. They just nail it.

Powered by RedCircle

From what’s been made public, it’s looking like Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek movie stands a decent chance of happening. The big question, though, is whether he’d direct it or not.

Since Quentin Tarantino plans to retire from filmmaking after 10 movies, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is his ninth, he said on a recent episode of ReelBlend that he has a loophole where he could direct Star Trek and then have an original work be his official 10th movie. However, he’s also willing to have Star Trek fill that 10 spot instead. You can listen to Tarantino’s full thoughts on the matter below:

The wait continues to learn specific plot details about Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek movie, but since it would be set in the Kelvin timeline and he likes those versions of Kirk and Spock, one would imagine that means that the main cast of the past three movies will be back. Tarantino has also confirmed this Star Trek movie would be R-rated.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on what’s happening with Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek. For now, keep up to date on what’s hitting theaters later this year in our 2019 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.