Quentin Tarantino’s Theoretical Star Trek Movie Will be R-Rated, Which We Already Knew

Okay so let’s get to the bottom of this Quentin Tarantino Star Trek thing.

Chances are, you’ve seen a flurry of headlines over the past two days about how an R-rated Tarantino Trek movie has been confirmed. That’s not quite true, but it’s just enough true to make headlines, apparently. The source of the headlines comes courtesy of TrekMovie.com, who earned “scoop” status on Monday by sharing a quote by Tarantino from an interview with Empire Magazine. The magazine isn’t out yet, so we don’t know the full context, but here is the story, a la TrekMovie: “While chatting with Empire magazine, [Tarantino] was asked about the potential Star Trek movie he had pitched to Bad Robot in 2017. As previously reported, last year Tarantino’s initial idea was fleshed out into a draft of a script by screenwriter Mark L. Smith. And that’s where it sat, waiting for more action. Tarantino says the next step is for him to give notes on it: ‘There’s a script that exists for it now, I need to weigh in on it, but haven’t been able to do that yet.’

“Also not a surprise, and something that’s been brought up before, is that Tarantino would want to make the movie R-rated. The director confirmed this to Empire: ‘Oh yeah! It’s an R-rated movie. If I do it, it’ll be R-rated.’”

All of this we already knew, but the phrasing of the quote does make it sound like Tarantino is confirming that it’s going ahead, which is probably why (at last count) I saw no fewer than 25 other articles all quoting TrekMovie and using variations of the headline “Quentin Tarantino Confirms His Star Trek Movie Will Be R-Rated.”

So let’s take it back a step and see where it all started. On December 4th, 2017, Mark Fleming, co-editor-in-chief of film at Deadline, broke the news: “Sources said that [Quentin] Tarantino has come up with a great idea for a Star Trek movie at Paramount. After sharing his idea with JJ Abrams [...] I’ve heard the plan is to assemble a writers room of scribes who’ll hear Tarantino’s take and begin to put together a movie. If it all works out, Tarantino might direct it, with Abrams producing.”

Later that month, on December 21st, Fleming reported further: “Paramount Pictures has set Mark L. Smith to write the script for the R-rated Star Trek movie that was hatched from an idea by Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino wants to direct the film, which he’ll produce with JJ Abrams.” Fleming goes on to say, “there was a promise made to Tarantino by Paramount and Abrams that this Star Trek will carry the R rating, same as all the films Tarantino has directed.”

We haven’t heard much more until now.

Tarantino, for his part, continues to be hopeful yet hedging - a month or so ago, in an interview with Slashfilm about his Netflix adaptation of The Hateful Eight, he said of Trek: “It’s a very big possibility. I haven’t been dealing with those guys for a while cause I’ve been making my movie. But we’ve talked about a story and a script. The script has been written and when I emerge my head like Punxsutawney Phil, post-Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, we’ll pick up talking about it again.”

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood premieres in the US on July 26th, so I wouldn’t expect any big news for a while still...but I’m fairly certain there will be more than a few hot takes to read about before then, if you’re in the market. And if you’re eager to read the source from whence TrekMovie pulled their quote, that issue of Empire Magazine will be out on shelves this Thursday, June 13th.

Alison Pitt