The Star Trek franchise may be flourishing on the small screen thanks to Discovery and the highly-anticipated upcoming debut of Picard, but the future of the long-running series on the big screen isn’t quite so clear. The third entry in the rebooted timeline, Justin Lin’s Star Trek Beyond, failed to crack $350m at the global box office despite solid reviews, and ever since then development on a fourth installment has faltered.
At one point, Chris Hemsworth was set to reprise his role as George Kirk before both he and Chris Pine reportedly walked away from the project to leave the future of the potential Star Trek 4 in a state of disarray, before the production was shelved indefinitely in January. However, this wasn’t the only Star Trek movie on the cards, and the questions about Quentin Tarantino’s involvement in the franchise have recently intensified with the filmmaker out doing the press rounds for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Tarantino recently admitted that he’s a huge fan of William Shatner’s performance as Captain Kirk on the original series, which instantly sparked rumors that Shatner would end up being involved in some way. Now, the actor’s responded to the speculation in a recent interview, and it sounds as though he doesn’t seem interested in returning to the franchise just for the sake of a nostalgic cameo.
“If Quentin Tarantino said to me, ‘will you play Captain Kirk in this film?’, and it isn’t like – Leonard Nimoy played Spock in one of J.J. Abrams’ films and they went back in time to see him, and I said to him; ‘Leonard, when you go back in time and you are still old Leonard, that’s really old’. They go back in time and he still looks old.”
Shatner was unaware the project is currently scheduled to be R-rated, and described how series creator Gene Rodenberry would react to the news, as well as imagining what Tarantino’s interpretation of Captain Kirk would look like.
“R-rated? First of all you have to harness the energy of Gene Roddenberry revolving in his grave. If you could harness that, you could use that power for the whole film. Captain Kirk, he’d be running wild, and I am having difficulty running wild now. Running through fields of hay, running, running, and then having a heart attack and falling down.”
William Shatner playing an older Captain Kirk in a Star Trek movie from Quentin Tarantino sounds absolutely insane, which is probably exactly why it would work. Tarantino always gets great performances out of his actors, and the idea of Shatner lending his distinctive delivery to a script written by the two time Academy Award-winning writer behind Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill truly sounds like too good of an opportunity to pass up.