With it looking more and more like CBS and Viacom are going to merge, you have to wonder if it will affect Quentin Tarantino’s plans for Star Trek.
On Monday The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the pieces are being put into place for what is looking more and more like the eventual re-merger of CBS and Viacom. The latest is the announcement that Paramount CEO Jim Gianopulos has agreed to a multi-year deal to stay with the new combined studio. In addition president of production Elizabeth Raposo has also signed an extension.
As we reported a few weeks ago, one of the big reasons the talks of CBS and Viacom re-merging have gained traction over the last few months is Star Trek. With the streaming landscape changing almost daily, the idea is to bring all of the franchise under one roof again. Most figure that once the merger is complete, Alex Kurtzman will be placed in charge of overseeing the direction of the Star Trek Cinematic Universe, or Trekverse, going forward.
Which brings us to Quentin Tarantino and his long-in-development Star Trek project.
Tarantino’s Star Trek film has been on the drawing board for years but it has been only recently that the odds of it being made have gone from even to pretty good. There is a finished script and now that Tarantino has completed Once Upon A Time In Hollywood his plan to to work on that and eventually decide if he wants to direct the project.
But could any of that change if the merger goes through, as it is expected to?
If Star Trek is one of the big reasons for the merger to happen, you can be sure CBS and possibly Kurtzman are going to want to have some say in the content of the film. Will they be as supportive of an R-rated Star Trek as Paramount? Will they insist that it fit into the larger Trekverse timeline? Will they think a Pulp Fiction/Star Trek mashup is maybe not the best thing for the franchise?
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It’s important to remember that once the merger happens, everything changes on the film side for Star Trek. While before Paramount could pretty much do what it wanted, that would all change. CBS and Kurtzman would likely be put in charge of Trek’s future on the big screen. A Star Trek: Discovery movie could happen or possibly a Star Trek: Picard feature film or the new combined studio could even decide to revive the Kelvin Timeline.
The point is, Star Trek would suddenly find itself to be the latest shared cinematic universe, and usually innovative directors like Quentin Tarantino don’t have an easy time when you have to answer to the greater needs of a franchise.
Just ask Edgar Wright, Josh Weadon and Zack Snyder.
Of course it is entirely possible the re-merged studio could just say the hell with it and let Tarantino make the movie he wants with no oversight. And if they were smart that would be exactly what they would do.
But this is Hollywood. The same Hollywood that thought Justice League needed to be funnier. Or thought Hellboy needed a remake. Or thought Han Solo needed an origin story.
In other words, don”t be shocked if after CBS and Viacom merge we hear news about Tarantino’s Star Trek that won’t make anyone happy.