Star Trek Guide

Tarantino's Star Trek Movie Was Based On Classic '30s Gangster Episode

Quentin Tarantino’s unrealized Star Trek film is based on a 1930s-era gangster episode of the famed TV series. Having been a Star Trek fan his entire life, Tarantino was looked to by many as just what the film franchise needed. For several years now, there has been much speculation as to what sort of projects the Oscar-winning director would make his last. Having previously announced he would only direct ten films before retiring from filmmaking, Tarantino has since gone on to make Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, leaving the possibility of just one more film before he packs up shop.

It was the opinion of many that this mystical final film would be the Pulp Fiction director’s own take on the Star Trek franchise. Not only was initial news of a possible Tarantino-made Star Trek a big deal for quite some time, but things reached fever pitch when it was revealed Tarantino’s proposed concept would be R-rated and laced with profanity – something Star Trek fans have definitely not been accustomed to over the years. However, recent news has confirmed that a Tarantino Star Trek movie is officially dead after the director departed the project.

Click the button below to start this article in quick view. Start now

While news of Tarantino’s departure is disappointing for some, it’s likely that even more people – fans of the filmmaker or not – will want to know just what kind of Star Trek film he had in mind. As Deadline has stated, the film was based on a classic episode of the original Star Trek TV series that is largely earthbound. The episode in question, which originally aired in Star Trek’s second season, was called A Piece of the Action and took place on a planet steeped in 1930s-era American gangster culture. Though Tarantino has left the project, the script, by The Revenant writer Mark L. Smith, is still under consideration to be the next Star Trek film.

Aside from being a very interesting jumping off point for a Star Trek film, A Piece of the Action was also significant in that it was the last script written by Star Trek showrunner Gene L. Coon. Whether intentional or not, it does seem that Tarantino was potentially setting himself up for some final moments on this project. By making Star Trek his tenth (and last film), he would have not only acknowledged one of Hollywood’s greatest creations, but also directly paid tribute to it by basing his film on Coon’s final Star Trek script.

There’s no doubt it would have been bizarre to see a Star Trek film set in a '30s gangster setting, complete with Tarantino levels of violence and profanity. However, whether it would have appealed to Tarantino fans, Star Trek fans, and general audiences alike is uncertain. Paramount would have been taking a bit of a gamble on Tarantino’s vision, and it’s arguable that Tarantino settled his craving for a Hollywood homage with last year’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Source: Deadline