Star Trek: Quentin Tarantino's Movie Reportedly Based on This Classic Episode

We may now know the inspiration for Quentin Tarantino's Star Trek movie pitch. A report from Deadline suggests that Tarantino will not direct the film based on the idea he pitched to J.J. Abrams and Paramount Pictures. The report also claims that the film is "based on an episode of the classic Star Trek series that takes place largely earthbound in a 30s gangster setting." While Deadline muddles the details, this description can only be referring to the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "A Piece of the Action," written by David P. Harmon and Gene L. Coon and directed by James Komack.

In "A Piece of the Action," the Enterprise is dispatched the Sigma Iotia II in search of the U.S.S. Horizon, which went missing in the area a century ago. Upon landing on the planet, the Enterprise crew discovers that -- in violation of the Prime Directive -- the Horizon crew contaminated the development of the Iotian's pre-warp civilization. Specifically, the Horizon left behind a book titled Chicago Mobs of the Twenties, and the Iotians built their entire society to resemble what they found within the volume.

The episode's gangster setting, with liens of dialog that emulate crime stories, makes the story seem right up Tarantino's alley. Though Tarantino has said that he'd want to work with Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and the rest of that cast, the report suggests that this film would feature a new cast and possibly be more of a spinoff than a direct sequel.

While the idea came from Tarantino, the script is from Mark L. Smith. Tarantino has described the film as something akin to Pulp Fiction in space. "If I do it, that's exactly what it'll be," Tarantino said in 2019. "It'll be Pulp Fiction in space. That Pulp Fiction-y aspect, when I read the script, I felt, I have never read a science fiction movie that has this s*** in it, ever. There's no science fiction movie that has this in it. And they said, I know, that's why we want to make it. It's, at the very least, unique in that regard."

Though Tarantino likely won't direct, he said before that he expects Paramount to push forward without him." I think they might make that movie, but I just don't think I'm going to direct it," he said. "It's a good idea. They should definitely do it, and I'll be happy to come in and give them some notes on the first rough cut."