A fourth movie in the Kelvin timeline of Star Trek has been on, then off, then on. It now seems off again. Nobody at Paramount seems to know what to do with the franchise on the big screen. Matt Shakman, Noah Hawley, and Susan Beir had all been temporarily in the director’s chair, but nothing ever moved.

Now, writer Mark L. Smith, co-writer of The Revenant and writer of the upcoming Twisters, has spoken about his view of Paramount and the franchise, while also touching on another famous attempt at Star Trek, Quentin Tarantino’s.

In an interview with Collider while out promoting his latest project, the George Clooney-directed The Boys In The Boat, he says the biggest issue right now is the studio, and their inability to decide on what Star Trek really is.

The previous movies were reasonably tight-budgeted, frugal affairs when compared to some of their sci-fi counterparts. That all changed when JJ Abrams relaunched the franchise as a blockbuster tentpole series in 2009 full of big sets, big stunts, and big spectacles. Now Paramount is unable to drag itself out of its paralysis around the franchise as, according to Smith:

“…there are different people at different levels [within Paramount who see it differently and nobody can agree for [everyone to kind of meet in the middle and do a version of it.”

One thing that may have changed everything in the world of Star Trek was Tarantino’s proposed version of things. Smith claims this would have changed Trek in the way Thor: Ragnorok changed Marvel. Not necessarily a good thing now we know what Marvel has struggled with since Endgame. He even said that Tarantion’s Trek script is still sitting on his desk, but now doubts it would ever get made, mostly due to Tarantino’s self-imposed ten-movie limit:

“So I wrote that, Quentin and I went back and forth, he was gonna do some stuff on it, and then he started worrying about the number, his kind of unofficial number of films.

I remember we were talking, and he goes, ‘If I can just wrap my head around the idea that Star Trek could be my last movie, the last thing I ever do. Is this how I want to end it?’ And I think that was the bump he could never get across, so the script is still sitting there on his desk.

…It was just a balls-out kind of thing. I can’t say anything about the story. He would kill me. But I think his vision was just to go hard. It was a hard R. It was going to be some Pulp Fiction violence. Not a lot of the language, we saved a couple things for just special characters to kind of drop that into the Star Trek world, but it was just really the edginess and the kind of that Tarantino flair, man, that he was bringing to it.”

Meanwhile, Star Trek remains largely a risible small-screen mess with absolutely none of the vibe that made earlier efforts so great.

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