Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek Pitch
With all the buzz around a Tarantino/J.J. Abrams collaboration for Star Trek, I reached out to my contacts over at Paramount, and got my hands on a transcript of his pitch. We can neither confirm nor deny whether this is authentic.
Paramount Exec: Thanks for meeting
Quentin Tarantino: This is going to be big. We’re planning on bringing back almost everyone from the last 50 years.
We open on Earth. We’re 225 miles above it, but it takes up the screen with the crushing depths of space going on in every direction. We slowly pull out as this beautiful operatic music plays us in until we hit the starship Enterprise, but it’s old, not what we’re used to.
The audience is on the edge of their seats when we finally cut into the Enterprise. Now we’re about twenty minutes in right now and see a broken, beaten and confused…
PE: Hold on, we’re twenty minutes in right now?
Q: Don’t worry about that. The crew is broken, but holding it together for their leader, Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard.
JJ Abrams: We’re not sure that he’s interested, but we’ll work on it.
Q: Actually, fuck Stewart, I changed my mind. We need to get Scott Bakula. Captain Archer is underrated.
JJ: Wait, Quentin, you sold me on Patrick Stewart?
Q: No, Bakula is a genius. Have you ever seen Quantum Leap? The way he encapsulated the working man is genius!!!! He’s a savant, I know Scott, I’ll get him. We both hit this hookah bar on Vine, I’ll text him now…I changed my mind, this would be Kirk’s enterprise. We’ll use Bakula later.
PE: JJ, this pitch is deviating from what you sold me on…
Q: But this is better, just work with me here. Harvey (Weinstein) fought me on Travolta and Johnny delivered, remember that?
JJ: Quentin, no but…There’s quite a bit of built-in value with the first three films.
Q: I know what I’m talking about, it’s going to be bananas. We’re talking… (inaudible)
PE: (Whispers to JJ Abrams as Quentin rambles) We’ve been trying to get Quentin over to Paramount for ages, let’s see what he has to say, I’m thinking three picture deal. (To Quentin) Ok, let’s hear you out.
Q: (Phone rings) That’s Scott Bakula, he’s pumped.
PE: So, we’re back to Bakula?
Q: We never left him. This is going to be his Last Tango In Paris, I promise you.
PE: The Brando Last Tango?
Q: Yeah, you’ve never seen it?
PE: It’s an NC-17 film that depicts lurid sex between an older man and a younger woman. Wasn’t there a rape scene in it? The timing might be a touch… Inappropriate.
Q: No, this is going to be so appropriate. So fucking appropriate that it’s going to take the concept of rape and flip it. The women are going to be fucking the male crew over so fucking hard and it’ll send a message, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Can we move on?
Q: So, the crew doesn’t have any idea where they are when a Klingon boards the ship and takes it captive. Though, not before Scotty is able to send off a distress signal that’s picked up in the modern day.
PE: The Klingons are the antagonists?
Q: Oh yeah, but I was really thinking about the nuance and diversity within the previous portrayals of past Klingons. There’s an underlining factor here, you guys picking up what I’m putting down?
Q: They’re the African Americans of the Star Trek universe, but imagine if you’re a Klingon? It’s a big ass fucking planet, there’s no way that every Klingon speaks in old fucking English, or whatever, there’s got to be a Klingon that came from the hood, the poor area, the area with culture… right?
PE: I, I guess, it’s logical, but we don’t need to rewrite the Klingon race. Let’s stick to…
Q: We’ll get Walton Goggins to play the main Klingon.
PE: Hold on, Walton Goggins is White?
Q: That doesn’t matter, Walt can combine that southern flavor with excessive cruelty, he’s perfect.
PE: Ok, you confused me a bit with the whole Klingon-African American comparison. I was thinking you would cast an actual Black actor for the role. The studio loves to bring in more diversity.
Q: Why would I do that?
(Pause) Paramount Exec is speechless.
Q: We’re going full fucking speed with this Klingon. Walt’s going to be the king-fucking-k0ng of these Klingons. Such a bad ass that will shit on any god damn Klingon who gets in his way. Just a bad mother fucker, and he hates Kirk because Kirk represents everything he’s been conditioned to hate. Although, he is going to fuck a Klingon later in the movie.
PE: Whoa… Excuse me? Not sure how that would work.
Q: No, no this is so natural, I can’t believe it hasn’t happened yet. Think, Kirk is the original White pimp, he used to get fucked by weird ass alien races all the time.
PE: I’m just not seeing how that would fit into the plot, granted, I have no idea where we are in the movie right now. I’m a bit lost, Quentin.
Q: It’s cool, it’s cool, Kirk is going to fuck all sorts of alien pussy in this version. In fact, this is great, most of the movie Kirk is stuck on this brothel planet as a slave, and he survives because he’s such a motha’ fuckin pimp (hence the flipping the male to female power structure on its head). Kirk is the one that’s going to be forced to do whatever the women want.
PE: I thought you wanted Bakula to work the rape angle?
Q: No, Bakula comes in later, way later.
PE: How much later?
Q: Sometime between hour two and three.
PE: Hateful Eight was brilliant, but that’s kind of long for this franchise, don’t you think?
JJ: We still haven’t worked that out completely, but keep going Q.
Q: Okay, the whole crew is either killed or captured. Fucking Uhura. Who we need to play up her soul sister side because she’s going to look like this sexy ass, afro’d, Nubian queen; might have to recast that one too. Think Zoe Saldana, but then throw that out and picture Pam Grier. Perfect.
PE: What’s that even mean. We can’t just recast Zoe Saldana? She’s been great in this series.
Q: Relax, I’m open to suggestions. Maybe she can gain some weight or CGI some curves on her ya know? It’s important that we properly execute the CGI. I’m more of a practical effect guy; so, JJ?
PE: You want to CGI Zoe Saldana? I guess it’s doable. JJ, you’re on board for this?
JJ: Keep going Q, I love the next part. Tell him about Chekov.
PE: What about Chekov?
Q: We have to recast Chekov. Obviously. Loved Yelchin. He brought everything to the role, so why not throw people off and cast Sam Jackson?
PE: Chekov… he’s Russian though?
Q: Exactly, a Black Russian. It’s never been done, and Sam’s already got his accent down; I talked to him on the way here. It’s bananas! Anyway, this bad fucking Klingon dominates the crew, except for one, guess who?
PE: Christ. Ya, got me.
Q: Sulu. He kills 104 Klingons with his samurai sword. I already have him training with Uma’s sword guy that we used on Kill Bill. He just goes fuckin’ nuts when they take Kirk. I have this whole sequence where he slaughters everyone on the bridge, and at the end of the sequence, the whole place is covered in blood. The Shining level of blood. Like fucking every, fucking inch, blood and gore everywhere… He’s tired though, right? He just literally killed 104 Klingons with a sword?
PE: I can imagine you’d be pretty tired, yeah.
Q: He’s leaning on his sword, his inner fury tapped out by physical exhaustion, but one of the Klingons was playing dead; he’s about to kill Sulu. Then, “SPLASH” his fucking head explodes, and it’s one of those redshirt crewmen that always die. This is a small role, and would be a great cameo for Channing Tatum, or that fucking kid from Baby Driver. JJ, what’s that fucking kid’s name?
JJ: Ansel Elgort
Q: Yeah, he’s great. You see Baby Driver?
PE: I did, yes.
Q: Sulu is horrified at the carnage, but it’s a necessity, a survival instinct. Then Sulu and the Red Shirt fuck.
PE: So, it would be a homosexual sex scene?
Q: Yeah, what’s wrong with that? You want some diversity. There. It’s literally right fucking in front of you. You already played up the gay side of Hulu in the last film. It’s canon.
PE: I… Ok.
JJ: Q, lets fast forward to the end, I love the ending.
Q: Kirk escapes this planet with the help of this Klingon bitch I was talking about earlier,
Q: …but it’s unbeknownst to the crew. The crew has managed to salvage this fucked up version of the enterprise with Scott Bakula as the captain.
PE: Where’s Spock in all this? Spock would technically be the captain in Kirk’s absence.
Q: Oh, he gets executed in the first act by Goggin’s Klingon character.
PE: I think I understand. You want to do what JJ did with retreading The Wrath Of Khan storyline, but with the Search For Spock?
Q: No, Spock’s dead. Dead as a fucking doornail. You have to understand, it builds a bad ass metric for this Klingon. Spock dies. Walt’s Klingon kills the fuck outta Spock.
PE: You said that. I get it, Spock dies. I’m not sure, JJ, you’re cool with this?
JJ: He sold me on it. It makes sense. People won’t expect it, and if the backlash is that bad we can always pull a Return of The Jedi, and bring Han Solo out of carbonite.
Q: Do what you want with the next film, I’m only doing this one, but Spock needs to fucking die. The story doesn’t work without Spock dying.
PE: Ok… So how does it end?
Q: What’s left of the crew. They heist a scuttled Enterprise, but it’s not armed, in fact, the whole crew is weaponless other than a few phasers and Sulus sword. Enter Chauncey Bang Bang; arms dealer.
JJ: That’s the working name, a great addition to the universe though.
Q: The crew gets armed up, goes into the brothel planet and kills everyone. The fucked up twist is that Kirk is already gone and they accidentally slaughter all these hookers. I’m going to shoot it like the Lucy Lui table scene in Kill Bill Vol. 1. The final sequence shows the remaining crew dealing with the guilt of the atrocity they just committed. Crushing guilt. I was even thinking Scotty gets hooked on some type of space heroin provided by Chauncey Bang Bang as a coping mechanism. Then, the final shot is of this Bad Ass Klingon about to launch a massive attack on earth.
PE: Wait, what happens to Kirk?
Q: He’s chilling man. Broken and living with his lady in some ghetto of a planet, but in his squalor, Kirk has finally found peace. That’s what we’ve been building to this whole time. This would be a post-credits scene.
PE: That’s what we’ve been building to? What the fu…
(Pause) Paramount Exec leans over to his Assistant.
Assistant: (Whispers to PE) It’s Tarantino. I heard the Reservoir Dogs pitch was a two-hour dialogue scene about Madonna. He’ll make it work.
PE: Yeah, we’ll do it sounds great. Might make a few cuts here and there…
Q: I only do it if I get final cut.
PE: Really you want…? Fine. One more thing. What are we calling this?
Q: The Trek.
PE: I don’t even care anymore. Do it.
Tarantino’s phone goes off.
Q: Bakula’s out. NCIS: New Orleans just got renewed. That show is so ahead of its time, no Bakula, no film. Just can’t make this work without him. Thanks, guys. Good meeting. Real good meeting.
Tarantino leaves everyone speechless.
PE: Fuck me.