In the middle of the night, news broke that Quentin Tarantino — yes that Quentin Tarantino — is involved with a new Star Trek movie after pitching an idea to JJ Abrams. It's not the first time we've heard about him being involved in the franchise, since over the years he has expressed interest in making one for himself - and that he'd take Star Trek over Star Wars any day.
It's a bold move for a director who's generally known for creating original independent films that contain copious amounts of violence and content not suitable for mass audience appeal. It got us thinking: what might we see if Tarantino got to make this film the way he makes all of the rest? Here are some things we might see.
Copious Use of the N-Word, for No Justifiable Reason
People have long criticised Tarantino's movies for a variety of reasons, some have pointed out that he just loves to use the n-word in his scripts - particularly when he's playing the character that says it. Why change now, just because he's taking on a massive franchise like Star Trek?
At the very least he might create a Klingon translation so he can get away with using it without falling fowl of censors and Paramount's interference.
A Starfleet Admiral Chastising Kirk's Violent Behaviour
Because that would be ironic, and it would throw in more than a few chances to have some fun with the audience members who are familiar with Tarantino's past work. Bonus points if the admiral is played by Tarantino himself.
This is the 23rd century we're talking about, and mankind is supposed to have evolved beyond the need for such needless destructive behaviour. Then again, Kirk was never the typical 23rd century man, always getting into fights and turning himself into a walking sexual harassment case waiting to happen.
Samuel L. Jackson as a Grumpy Elderly Klingon
Samuel L. Jackson is well known for his nerdy interests, which is why he ended up playing Mace Windu in Star Wars and Nick Fury in the Marvel movies. I can't seem to find any time he referenced Star Trek in public, but let's be honest, I'm pretty sure we'd all love to see Jackson in a Star Trek movie. And seeing as how he's been in six of the eight full-length films Tarantino has directed, then this is the closest he'll ever get.
He's been a Jedi, a super spy, a super villain, a super hero, and so many other roles, so it's about time we see him put on some forehead ridges and take on the role of a Klingon. Ideally an elderly Klingon who is "too old for this shit", and gets angry at people not speaking Klingonese. Bonus points for constantly using the Klingon word for 'motherfucker' as well.
Steve Buscemi as an Alien, But Without Much Makeup
Okay, so this sounds rather harsh, but you can't deny the fact that Steve Buscemi is an odd-looking man. Especially around the eyes. He's a great actor, but he looks odd nonetheless. So obviously he'd be perfect playing some sort of alien, and given the whole eyes thing, he might be able to get away without much makeup.
He isn't really a Tarantino mainstay these days, seeing as how his last one was a small part in Pulp Fiction nearly 25 years ago, but we all know we want to see this.
Copious Violence that JJ Abrams Needs to Tone Down in Post
These days it's common for a new director to be brought on board to fiddle with a film after the studio decides it's not happy with the original director's work. Star Trek is probably Paramount's biggest franchise after Transformers, making it the biggest franchise people actually seem to like. After all, there were plenty of reports about behind-the-scenes drama on Star Trek Beyond, because executives didn't want a Star Trek film; they wanted something akin to Guardians of the Galaxy or The Avengers.
So it needs that mass market appeal that maybe Tarantino's style isn't best suited for. The solution? Obviously bring back JJ Abrams (again), to tone down the film in post-production. Because that's the cool thing to do.
Long Conversations About Nothing
You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese on Vulcan? Nothing, because they don't eat meat and feel that junk food is illogical.
After the violence, the swearing, Samuel L. Jackson, and all the other things people might think about when you mention his work, you might remember that Tarantino is a big fan of scenes that don't involve much. Just two people talking about something random, like McDonald's in Amsterdam, or milkshakes, or a TV series that was obviously a pitch for what became Kill Bill.
Sitting around and talking is what Star Trek does best, particularly in The Next Generation. There's no reason why at least one scene of this wouldn't make it to Tarantino's take on the final frontier.
A Non-Linear Story, Possibly With Time Travel Involved
Do stories need to be told in a linear fashion? Not necessarily. Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are good examples of that, as is The Hateful Eight to an extent. There are different degrees of non-linear storytelling, but the right director could easily bring it onto the big screen. Plus, it's science fiction, so you could easily write in a an explanation for the seemingly-out-of-place plot points by using time travel. Everyone knows time travel is Star Trek's favourite cop-out, particularly where Voyager is concerned.
Easter Eggs to Past Tarantinoverse Films
Tarantino was doing the shared universe before the shared universe was even a thing, and it took a while for people to figure it out seeing as how the references were so subtle. Those little easter eggs are classic Tarantino, whether it's the fake products he uses because of his disdain for product placement, sly references to other characters and events, and so on.
Obviously a Star Trek film couldn't be tied into his other films like that, but that doesn't mean there can't be references to the rest of his work. Obviously having the USS Pussy Wagon appear probably isn't going to go down well with studio execs, but maybe there would be a Captain Wallace played by Ving Rhames? Maybe the USS Django?
Nothing special, or overtly in-your-face like some Easter eggs have become, but the little stuff that Tarantino has been doing for over 25 years.
A Love Letter to Classic Pulp Sci-Fi and The Original Trek Series
While the other things in this list are a bit daft and silly, this is probably quite likely. Tarantino has a long history of being inspired by classic film genres that most filmmakers have long-since forgotten. Spaghetti westerns being a very good recent example. If he's taking on Trek then there's bound to be some inspiration from classic science fiction films and TV programmes from the 1950s and '60s.
Seeing as how the original Star Trek TV series was also broadcast during the early '60s, there's bound to be plenty of ideas Tarantino can pinch, adapt, or allude to that we haven't seen in Trek films and TV series since. With the recent film and TV instalments increasingly distancing itself from what many consider Star Trek to be, it's the kind of thing that can renew faith in the hardcore Trek fans that have been there since the very beginning.
Tarantino himself expressed admiration for the original series back in 2015, during an interview with Nerdist, so this idea isn't exactly far-fetched.
"I'm definitely a fan of the original series and definitely a fan of William Shatner. I actually think [a film] could be cool, because the old episodes are fantastic. The only thing that limited them was their 60s' budget and eight-day shooting schedule. You could take some of the great Star Trek episodes and easily expand them to 90 minutes or more and really do some amazing, amazing stuff. The obvious one would be 'City On The Edge of Forever.' That's what everyone would go do, but there's a reason everyone would go to that—it's one of the classic stories of all time, one of the great time travel stories."
Plus, Tarantino is, as everyone knows, a big fan of gore and violence. If you go back and watch the original series, there's plenty of violence in there. It's just a bit more campy than people are used to nowadays. It's the kind of thing a director like him could have fun with, so produce some excessive violence that's not quite as obvious.