Quentin Tarantino Confirms he Wants to Make Pulp Fiction in Space

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino

For a guy who doesn’t want to talk about Star Trek, Quentin Tarantino sure can’t seem to stop talking about Star Trek.

In a lengthy new interview with Deadline, the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood director fielded questions about his rumored Trek adaptation. The information he gave was pretty dense, so let’s try and unpack it.

In the course of the interview, it was actually Tarantino who first brought up Trek, when he was talking about William Shatner. It was in the context of actors who were really big and then were able to take on really interesting television roles later in their careers. He likened Shatner, along with John Saxon, to Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in Once Upon a Time, saying, “if you watch some of those William Shatner episodes or you watch some of those John Saxon episodes, those are really wild characters they’re playing. I mean really interesting characters, frankly better than most of the characters they ever played in movies.”

Deadline then took the opportunity to ask about the rumored Star Trek film in the works. They asked Tarantino what it was about the Original Series that got the current script as far as it has. Tarantino didn’t mince words. He said, “my portal into that show is William Shatner. I love William Shatner on Star Trek. I love his performance as James T. Kirk. That is my connection. That is my umbilical cord. [...] I think it’s one of the greatest performances in the history of episodic television, of a series lead, and rightly so, because very few series leads have ever gotten the opportunity to play all the different wild, crazy things.”

He went on to explain that he was “taken with” Star Trek (2009) and that Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, as Kirk and Spock respectively, “got it”.

Then Deadline asked the big question: “Will you direct it?”

Now, let’s be clear. Quentin Tarantino was asked a direct question and couldn’t give a direct answer. That’s not particularly surprising...in Hollywood, nothing’s a done deal until it’s a done deal. The best Tarantino would commit to was, “I don’t know if I’ll do it or not. I’ve got to figure it out, but Mark [L. Smith, the screenwriter for The Revenant] wrote a really cool script. I like it a lot.”

Tarantino did take time to call out another prominent Star Trek figure, though, and once again, unsurprisingly, didn’t mince words. “I get annoyed at Simon Pegg,” he said. “One of the comments he said, he’s like ‘Well, look, it’s not going to be Pulp Fiction in space.’ Yes it is! If I do it, that’s exactly what it’ll be. [...] 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.”

Oh yeah, and one last thing, Tarantino revealed at least one small aspect of the plot: “there is a gangster element to what we’re doing with the Star Trek thing that works out pretty good.”

In case you forgot, Tarantino is not actually promoting Star Trek right now, but his latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It’s due out in cinemas next week.

Alison Pitt