Quentin Tarantino approached his fabled R-rated Star Trek script like any of us would: by taking inspiration from his love for Chris Pine. The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood director is not-so-secretly a fan of Pine’s depiction of Captain Kirk in the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies, and the result is a Star Trek script that has “so much fun” with Kirk, according to Tarantino’s co-screenwriter Mark L. Smith.
Here’s another update for you on Tarantino’s R-rated Star Trek movie that will definitely get made one day. In an interview with SFX Magazine, The Revenant screenwriter Mark L. Smith, who worked on the screenplay with the filmmaker based on his original idea for a Star Trek movie (which Tarantino previously described as an “earthbound” 1930s gangster movie), revealed that the film is very Captain Kirk-centric, inspired by Tarantino’s love for Chris Pine’s performance in the role:
“I wrote a Star Trek with Tarantino, and that was a sci-fi script on which I could have fun and lean into some bigger, broader things. Kirk is always just so fun. Tarantino and I had so much fun with him, because Kirk is just William Shatner, y’know? It’s like: you’re not sure who is who, so you can kinda lean into that. Because you watch Chris Pine and he’s playing Kirk, but he’s also playing William Shatner a touch.”
Tarantino has long been a fan of the Wonder Woman 1984 actor, recently stating in an interview on The Ringer’s “Rewatchables” podcast that Pine was his favorite young actor working today, and admitting that it was Pine’s performance as Captain Kirk that made him interested in contributing to the Star Trek film franchise that launched with Abrams’ 2009 reboot. The director once told MTV, “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 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.”
Unfortunately, the Tarantino Star Trek has been languishing on the shelf for a while now, with the filmmaker revealing last year that he’s “steering away from Star Trek, but I haven’t had an official conversation with those guys yet.” Tarantino’s desire to retire soon contributed to that decision, and with the long process it’s taken to get the Trek movie off the ground, it may just not be in the cards for the filmmaker — and not even a love for Chris Pine can change that.
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