Quentin Tarantino‘s newly-announced Star Trek movie will, like all the director’s other films, carry an R-rating. The R would be without precedent for the Star Trek movie franchise, which has never gone beyond PG-13. CBS All Access has broken some of the old clean Star Trek rules by allowing f-bombs and wild Klingon sex on their series Star Trek: Discovery.
Tarantino caused a stir several months ago when he indicated that he would like to direct a Star Trek film. Fast-forward to November, when news broke that the director had pitched a Star Trek idea to Paramount and J.J. Abrams. Studio and producer signed on for the idea and the film is now speeding through early stages of work.
Deadline reports that Tarantino’s pitch stipulated the movie carry his usual R-rating. Despite Star Trek always being relatively family-friendly, Paramount and Abrams gave in to the director’s demand. Studios seem more amenable to R-ratings for franchise movies after the success of Logan and Deadpool. Star Trek arguably is a different beast, with its long-standing traditions and faithful fanbase.
Tarantino is a divisive choice among Trek fans to carry the movie franchise forward. Some are eager to embrace the fresh, new ideas the maverick filmmaker will bring to the Trek universe. Others are concerned he will freshen things up too much, and steer away from the true Trek spirit. Tarantino’s Trek carrying an R can’t sit well with Trekkies who remain attached to old-school, clean-minded Trek. However, it bears mentioning that the original Star Trek wasn’t all that clean-minded. Consider how often noted cad Captain Kirk became involved with aliens. Also remember the outfits the female Enterprise crew-members had to wear.
Details about Tarantino’s take on Trek naturally will not be coming for a long time. The director has bandied Trek ideas around in the past, mentioning on the Nerdist podcast that he’s thought about taking a classic Trek episode and expanding it into a two-hour narrative. Star Trek TOS episode “The City on the Edge of Forever” and TNG ep “Yesterday’s Enterprise” were singled out as particular favorites. A writer’s room came together after the director’s pitch, and Deadline reports that Mark Smith (The Revenant) is the front-runner to emerge from the group and write the script.
While Star Trek continues to move forward, Tarantino also will continue work on his much-discussed 1969 project. Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Tom Cruise are among the big names being sought for roles in the film. Original reports had the movie centering around the Manson Family murders. The director later clarified that Manson and his crimes will only form part of the film’s backdrop. Tarantino has said he’ll direct ten films and then retire, though we don’t know if Star Trek counts against that.