Just a days after the CEO of ViacomCBS confirmed two new Star Trek films are in the works, director Quentin Tarantino says he may walk away from the one he started. Speaking to Consequence of Sound, Tarantino reaffirmed his commitment to direct 10 movies and then retire. With only one film left after Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, Tarantino is leaning toward dropping out of Star Trek to make his final film something smaller. "I think I’m steering away from Star Trek, but I haven’t had an official conversation with those guys yet," he says. "In a strange way, it seems like this movie, Hollywood, would be my last. So, I’ve kind of taken the pressure off myself to make that last big voilà kind of statement. I mean to such a degree there was a moment when I was writing and went, 'Should I do this now? Should I do something else? Is this the 10th one?' No, no don’t stop the planets from aligning, what are you, Galactus? If the Earth is saying do it, do it. Not that it was an argument, but a little thought, like, 'Well, if I’m gonna go out like Max Ophüls style, Lola Montez, this is it, and if It’s not good, then all my other work is trash, alright.' This would have been the one. But in a weird way, it actually kind of freed me up. I mean, I have no idea what the story of the next one’s going to be. I don’t even have a clue."
Tarantino pitched the idea for the film to producer J.J. Abrams, and Paramount handed the idea to a writers’ room to break down. Mark L. Smith was hired to pen the script. At last update, the project was awaiting Tarantino’s notes on the finished draft of the screenplay to move forward. Tarantino was busy promoting Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, and Paramount always planned for the Tarantino film to follow Star Trek 4. The studio also hoped to have Tarantino direct the film, which he has described as “Pulp Fiction in space,” but there is the possibility that they could hand Tarantino's concept to another director.
Tarantino spoke a bit about Star Trek while on the press tour for Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood. “Well, it’s an idea then we got together and talked it out and then we hired Mark Smith, who did Revenant to write the script,” Tarantino explained during an episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast. “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 — f*** 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.’
“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,” Tarantino continued. “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 f******* nail it. They just nail it.”
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