The surprising reason Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek movie was abandoned

The surprising reason Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek movie was abandoned

Quentin Tarantino was originally set to direct a Star Trek movie, but dropped the project in 2019 for a surprising reason.

According to a prospective co-writer, the Pulp Fiction director, known for his gritty, irreverent filmography, ultimately decided he didn’t want the last film he ever made to be a franchise movie.

Tarantino fans had hoped that the project could have pushed the American science fiction franchise in a new direction had he decided to finish the job.

In a recent interview for Collider, Oscar-nominated writer Mark L Smith, who wrote the screenplay forThe Boys in the Boat, spoke with Steve Weintraub about Tarantino’s decision to scrap the project.

“I can’t say anything about the story. He would kill me,” Smith told Weintraub. “But I think the vision was just to go hard. It was a hard R. It was going to be some Pulp Fiction violence.”

“It would have been cool,” Smith said, adding that the edginess and flair of Tarantino’s filmography would have given it a “different feel from the Marvel stuff”.

“It was a different thing, but this was such a particular type of different story that Quentin wanted to tell with it that it kind of fit my sensibilities.” The two started working on the project and exchanging ideas, until Tarantino “started worrying about the number, his kind of unofficial number of films”.


Anxious about his legacy – and supposedly wanting to leave behind a neat and well-curated portfolio of films – Tarantino has long maintained that he will stop making films after his 10th feature. His current project, The Movie Critic, will be his final piece.

“Most directors have horrible last movies,” the director told Pure Cinema Podcast in 2021.

“That’s the case for most of the Golden Age directors that ended up making their last movies in the 1960s and 1970s,” he continued.

Recalling his collaboration with Tarantino, Smith said: “I remember we were talking, and he goes, ‘If I can just wrap my head around the idea that Star Trek could be my last movie, the last thing I ever do. Is this how I want it to end?’”

“And I think that was the bump he could never get across, so the script is still sitting there on his desk,” he continued.

Tarantino’s Star Trek would have been “the greatest Star Trek film”, Smith said. “It was just a balls-out kind of thing,” he added.

“I know he said a lot of nice things about it. I would love for it to happen. It’s just one of those things that I can’t ever see happening.”