We love Quentin Tarantino, and we love Star Trek. Hell, we even love r-rated franchise movies (*waves at Deadpool*), but does that mean we want an r-rated Quentin Tarantino Star Trek film? No, absolutely ****ing not.
Why? LOADS of reasons. Here’s just some of them…
He’s not writing it
Tarantino’s Trek would be the first film he’s directed from a script he hasn’t written. Which would be fine, if it wasn’t for the fact he’s arguably the best scriptwriter currently working in Hollywood. It’s his main talent.
He’s a great director, sure but his words are the elements of his movies that really sing, and we’re not sure about how we feel about a Tarantino film without all of that delicious dialogue to distract us from the fact he’s ripping off every shot from his 35mm collection.
The R rating
Forget QT for a moment, though – no matter who’s directing it, and R rating simply isn’t right for this franchise. Gene Roddenberry envisioned a perfect world, a pure word, a world which has so advanced beyond violence that it’s spent all of its money on space exploration instead of war. If we want a gritty swear-filled Trek, we’ve got Discovery (and remember how cringey it was when they dropped the f-bomb on that show?), which is set in the early days of the Federation.
If Tarantino’s pitch is that the crew have to travel back to 1970s Inglewood to grab some kind of sci-fi MacGuffin, maybe it’ll work. But if this is a straight-up Trek film, we’re not sure if there’s a way to make it r-rated without fundamentally breaking the what makes it work in the first place.
This is Star Trek, not Battlestar fracking Galactica.
It’ll be his final movie
Tarantino is on record promising he’ll direct 10 films, and no more than that. Unless he’s talked himself into Trek being some sort of loophole, then this will be his final film. Which is unacceptable, frankly. We don’t care how good it is, a Quentin Tarantino Star Trek would deprive us of a QT original. Whether that would be his long-awaited Kill Bill 3, or the next Pulp Fiction, we won’t get to see it. And that’s a bigger shame than Star Trek Beyond.
How the Trek is Tarantino going to fit his usual tropes into this universe? Whether it’s out-of-sequence narratives, extreme violence, pop culture references or recurring easter eggs, basically none of what he does will work in that world.
Unless we have a flashback to a Klingon beating someone to death with a lightsaber, while grabbing a packet of Red Apple cigarettes from a replicator while whistling Captain Kangaroo to himself, we’re not sure how this will actually feel like a Tarantino film.
Unless this is some kind of multiverse tale, Tarantino’s locked in to the cast that are signed up for the next Trek – that means Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana and the rest. Now, they’re all fine actors, but they’re not exactly Tarantino-esque are they?
If writing’s his best talent, then casting is a very close second. He’s an actual genius at putting the right people into the right parts, whether they’re the next big-thing or a washed-up has-been, Tarantino makes his actors shine by only working with the people he wants to work with.
There is some good news, though. JJ Abrams and Justin Lin’s Star Trek films very much look like JJ Abrams and Justin Lin films. There is previous form for directors putting their own stamp on this franchise. And it’s the sort of approach that worked for the Mission Impossible films (launched by Tarantino’s directing hero, Brian De Palma), so there is hope.
But if this risk doesn’t pay off, it’ll be a sad end to an amazing CV of movies.
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