Quentin Tarantino was attached to Star trek for years until recently.
Star Trek 4, the fourth version of the Chris Pine-led Star Trek films, is officially a go. Star Trek 4 isn’t the official title and nor should it be confused with Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. It’s a movie that seems obvious and logical, going with the cast that helmed the last few makes the most sense with so much change on the television side of things. Yet, before the fourth film was announced, one with Quentin Tarantino was pitched.
Eventually, the film was declined, and gears shifted to a more conventional Trek film.
So why bring up this failed idea?
Well, Variety posted an article recently looking at how the Tarantino-led Star Trek film never materialized, and how it all fell apart. There’s a bit of a somber tone to the article, lamenting what could’ve been. Yet, it’s a film that never would’ve landed well with the core base of Star Trek fans.
Why a Quentin Tarantino led Star Trek film would’ve failed
When an entity develops a brand that becomes successful, that’s what fans of that brand expect. That’s what they want. They don’t want something different. It’s why New Coke and Crystal Pepsi failed. It’s why Metallica’s Saint Anger was panned by critics. It’s why the new Star Wars movies were more or less panned.
They weren’t what fans expected. Now you’ll always have the contrarians who say “I liked that it was different”, and that’s great. Good for you. But most people go to chains and long-running franchises for familiarity. They know what they want, and they’re going to that specific place for a specific reason. To not give someone what they expect is a bad business decision. It’s why Star Wars has 180’ed itself since the Last Jedi. They knew that film was a bad idea, and now everything they’re putting out is dedicated to winning their audience back.
Maybe a Tarantino-led sci-fi movie would be interesting. He’s a divisive director, however, and putting him in charge of a beloved franchise that, at its core, rejects all that Tarantino is, would have absolutely been met with a lot of pushback.
Tarantino is garish and crude. His films touch on a part of American cinema gone by, the exploitation flicks of the past. He deals in raunch and filth and presents things in a rather depressing and nearly nihilistic view.
That’s not Trek. It’s not a franchise that fans want to see embrace gore and sex, like most of Tarantino’s other works. Putting him in charge of Trek would’ve been different, sure, but if you want “different”, then go watch a new franchise.
The Expanse is great. Ronald D. Moore has a show on Apple+. SyFy still makes science fiction shows, go watch Resident Alien. Stop demanding that an established IP change what it is at its core. It’s only going to hurt things.
Star Wars will likely not challenge themselves again due to the poor reaction to Rian Johnson’s Last Jedi. They learned their lesson. Star Trek fans were rightfully upset over how Picard killed off Icheb, and again, rightfully so.
Imagine how mad fans would be if Gene Roddenberry’s masterpiece was wheeled out to the theaters with an R-rating, and filled with nothing but blood, guts, sex, and anything lacking in substance?
Sure, there would be a part of the audience who would love to see something so beloved be “deconstructed”. Yet, there’d be an even lauder fanbase who would’ve just walked away for good.
Paramount made the right call not bringing Tarantino on, and let’s stop pretending like he would’ve done a good job respecting such a vaunted and beloved IP.