It’s typical for a reporter to ask a famous actor or director, “what comes next?” Well, that seems to be especially true in the case of Quentin Tarantino, who could possibly be making his last venture into theaters next weekend with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
But there’s a loophole, an asterisk you might say, in the rumors of his impending retirement: the controversial Star Trek film he might be tackling next.
And in a recent interview, the Inglorious Basterds director’s been more than vocal about the project’s pre-production phase. From confirming and defending its R-rating, to defining it as “Pulp Fiction in space,” all this teasing’s certainly got us drooling. But there’s something else that fans of the original series will be especially fond of.
Casting has always been an important part of Tarantino’s productions, and he often incorporates performers from films that’ve inspired him. From classic gangster star Harvey Keitel’s part in Reservoir Dogs, and original Django actor Franco Nero’s cameo in Django Unchained, you can even see it in his latest film. Remember the trailer, where Al Pacino comments on “all the killing” in Rick Dalton’s pictures? Yeah, what does that remind you of?
But my point is that if Tarantino were to birth a Star Trek film, there’s a good chance that we’d see at least a cameo from one of the original stars. And the director went on to shed some light on who that may be: the first Captain Kirk, himself, William Shatner.
“I’m a big fan of the show Star Trek. I really like it a lot, but my portal into that show is William Shatner. I love William Shatner on Star Trek. I love his performance as James T. Kirk. That is my connection. That is my umbilical cord. It’s why I like Star Trek more than Star Wars, because William Shatner’s not in Star Wars. I think it’s one of the greatest performances in the history of episodic television, of a series lead, and rightly so, because very few series leads have ever gotten the opportunity to play all the different wild, crazy things. “The Enemy Within” alone…”
While it seems that a script’s already been drawn up by The Revenant‘s Mark L. Smith, we don’t know any specifics, and probably won’t for a long time to come. But whether or not it has room to fit Shatner, Tarantino seems impressed enough by the direction Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto took their characters that he won’t steer his film too far off their course.
“So that’s why I actually really was so taken with JJ Abrams’ first reboot and how fantastic I thought Chris Pine channeled William Shatner. He didn’t go a serious actor-y way. He said, well no, I’m going to do my own thing. He’s playing the William Shatner version of Kirk and he’s doing a fantastic job at it. I mean perfect, frankly. And [Zachary] Quinto is perfect as Spock. Those two guys, they fucking got it.”
Again, it’s too early to say if Tarantino will bring back any of the original Star Trek cast members. But given the fact that the late, great Leonard Nimoy got a final curtain call in J.J. Abrams’ film, it’d be nice for Shatner to take another bow.