If you go through Quentin Tarantino’s whole filmography, you’ll notice that the director doesn’t really have a sci-fi movie anywhere. And, as he’s gotten older, his films have actually become more grounded in reality. His last feature, The Hateful Eight, was one of his simplest outings since Reservoir Dogs, and he’s already announced his intentions to direct a film about the Manson murders, making it the first time Tarantino has ever written about real people in his movies (yes, I know that Natural Born Killers was based on real people, but that’s a technicality). However, an interview with the Pulp Fiction director included a conversation about how he’d tackle a potential Star Trek movie, plus why he prefers Trek over Wars, but wasn’t a big fan of J.J. Abrams‘ 2011 Into Darkness sequel starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan.
The conversation started when Tarantino was asked whether he’d be interested in directing a new Star Wars movie, a relevant topic right now considering how many films in the Star Wars universe are currently in some form of production.
“The actual answer to the question is that I would be more inclined to direct a Star Trek… rather than Star Wars,” he said. Adding, “I’m definitely a fan of the original series… in particular a fan of William Shatner’s. That’s my key into the series – William Shatner.”
The director went on to talk about Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek Into Darkness, which he wasn’t a big fan of.
“It really bothered me that [he] was playing Khan. It really bothered me. And part of the reason that it bothered me was like – well, wait a minute, that just doesn’t work… The thing that I liked about the first one is that Chris Pine is playing William Shatner and Zachary Quinto is playing Leonard Nimoy as Spock… so, Benedict Cumberbum can’t be Khan.”
Fans of the original film will remember that Khan was originally played by actor Ricardo Montalban, who gave a much different (and better) performance than Cumberbatch did with a sleeker, more conventionally “futuristic” interpretation of the character. It’s no surprise that Tarantino prefers the original: he always prefers the original. But I see his point about not staying true to the character, especially since the two performances couldn’t be more different. He went on to discuss how recycling some of the original series’ denser stories might work in terms of creating more contained, 90-minute stories instead of the cinematic, 2+ hour films we’re getting.
In all the films they’ve established it so much, that you need Uhura, you need a Scotty, you need Bones, you need all that stuff going on all the time – everybody has to be represented in some big story where they all have to deal. Where I actually think it could be cool – ’cause some of those episodes are fantastic, and the only thing that limited them was their sixties budget and eight days shooting schedule, and even having said that they did a magnificent job – but you could take some of the great, classic Star Trek episodes and just easily expand them to 90 minutes or more and really do some really amazing, amazing stuff.
It kind of sounds like he might be describing the new Star Trek show, Discovery, which premiered on CBS recently. Budget and shooting constraints proved to be a detriment in terms of the original show’s reach exceeding its grasp. Now, there’s no reason not to funnel more money into quality Star Trek stories, and hopefully, Discovery will live up to expectations and keep fans busy in-between movies.
You can watch Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access every Sunday night at 8:30 PM!
Images: Paramount, CBS, The Weinstein Company
Source: Cinema Blend