Karl Urban Explains Why Tarantino’s Star Trek Needs An R-Rating


While Star Trek 4 seems to have hit a brick wall, another – much more unlikely – Star Trek film is going ahead instead. Quentin Tarantino has pledged his commitment to helm an R-rated film set in the Kelvin timeline of the Trek universe, complete with the modern movie cast.

While this is an exciting development for fans of the director, Trek lovers might be somewhat apprehensive about the Pulp Fiction filmmaker getting his hands on the beloved sci-fi franchise. Is Samuel L. Jackson going to stop by and drop a load of F-bombs? Is Michael Madsen going to chop a Klingon’s ear off?

Karl Urban – who’s played Bones since 2009’s Star Trek – has now assured fans that they don’t have to worry about Tarantino using the movie’s R-rating to turn it into expletive-filled torture porn. According to the actor, the director’s only pursuing a mature rating so that he can fully explore the “horror of space.” For Urban, this calls back to his own experiences of watching the original series as a child.

“You shouldn’t worry that it is going to be full of obscenity and stuff. He wants an R-rating to really make those beats of consequence land. If it’s not PG, if someone gets sucked out into space, which we have all seen before, we might see them get disemboweled first…It allows some some breadth…gives him some leeway to do that. To me, that was always one of the things I loved about what DeForest Kelley did. He would actually capture the horror of space. That look in his eyes of sheer terror always struck me when I was a kid.”

Presumably, Urban’s point of reference is similar to Tarantino’s and his idea to take Star Trek in a more gory direction is a bid to try and recapture how eerie and unsettling the series was when you watched it at a young age. Zachary Quinto has said much the same on a previous occasion, promising that Tarantino would take his “originality and mix it with this world full of incredible ideology and colorful characters.”

Not that we should be getting too excited for “Tarantino Trek” just yet. Star Trek‘s Simon Pegg has already warned us that the auteur isn’t ready for the project at the moment and it could be up to 5 or 6 years away. Hopefully Tarantino himself feels differently, though, and this weird melding of director and franchise arrives much sooner than that.