‘Star Trek’: Screenwriter Mark L. Smith Talks Quentin Tarantino Project and Seemingly Confirms Captain Kirk’s Involvement

When news hit that Paramount Pictures would be rethinking the Star Trek franchise placing Noah Hawley’s Star Trek 4 on pause it was revealed by Deadline that the Quentin Tarantino project penned by Mark L. Smith (The Revenant, Overlord, The Midnight Sky) may have been influenced by a classic Star Trek episode titled “A Piece of The Action” that featured a 1930s gangster setting.

Tarantino dropped out as director, but the project is still viable based on an episode of the classic Star Trek series that takes place largely earthbound in a 30s gangster setting — might serve the franchise best as Logan-like spinoffs when the core franchise has been revitalized. 

SFX Magazine (via Games Radar) spoke with Mark L. Smith and he certainly indicated that Captain Kirk would have been part of it. We have to assume they would have wanted Chris Pine back in that role given Tarantino’s previous supportive comments on Pine.

SMITH: “I wrote a Star Trek with Tarantino, and that was a sci-fi script on which I could have fun and lean into some bigger, broader things. Kirk is always just so fun. Tarantino and I had so much fun with him, because Kirk is just William Shatner, y’know? It’s like: you’re not sure who is who, so you can kinda lean into that. Because you watch Chris Pine and he’s playing Kirk, but he’s also playing William Shatner a touch.”

How Paramount moves forward with the franchise is a little unclear as Star Trek 4 isn’t happening anytime soon and the studio seems to be more keen to grind-out various television shows for it’s streaming service. Tarantino also has been public that he is going to be working on books and is prepping a television series of Bounty Law as well.


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