For all the doubters and haters out in the world (including a big swath of commenters on io9) who say Tarantino can’t possibly make a science fiction movie, much less a Star Trek movie; for those who say that Tarantino will ruin Star Trek because his movies are too violent and bloody*, too disturbing, etc.; for you, I say this:
Everyone used to say that about David Lynch.
Then he went and made a G-rated Disney movie called “Straight Story” in 1999 (as the director but not as a writer) that to this day holds a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Being a director is a job where you literally direct the cast and crew to make the best possible movie out of a screenplay.
Because Tarantino pitched the story idea, and Abrams liked it, they’re getting together a writer’s room (full of other writers that are not Tarantino) whose job it is to create the best possible Star Trek story.
If all goes well, Tarantino will be the director of the movie, and he will be working from an excellent Star Trek script that is either written by other writer/s based on his story idea or is co-written by him.
Just because we have seen the film-making tools that Tarantino likes to use the most, none of us has any way of possibly knowing what else he has in that bag of tools.
He is a professional, like David Lynch, and is completely capable of directing all kinds of other movies based on other people’s scripts. Why doesn’t he? He doesn’t because he doesn’t ever have to do take a directing job in the Hollywood machine because he is already living the dream:
1. He has made so much money off of the movies that he directed (after starting out as a screenwriter for movies that were picked up by the likes of Oliver Stone). Because he has absolutely no need for money; he has no need to take on directorial projects that he didn’t write for himself.
2. He has free reign to both write and direct his own writing, so it would be incredibly difficult for him to put his heart and head into some random movie that he didn’t write. In that case, if it’s not material (like Star Trek or Bond) that makes him go 100% geek, he probably wouldn’t do as great of a job. It would be a perfunctory job for him. Why the hell would he want go and make a movie that he knows will probably not live up to his own personal standards? He’s the kind of guy who would loathe himself for doing that, for getting a payday like that.
3. He can now go and pursue a childhood dream job of making his Star Trek story ideas (that have been in the back of his mind for decades) and call up JJ Abrams and work with him to get a writers’ room up and running immediately while the idea is still hot and new.
4. People call him an auteur. (That’s got to feel good.)
Finally, just look at his actual movies. He has covered all kinds of genres: western, war movie, crime story, heist story, kung fu, noir, locked-room mystery, revenge flick, and grindhouse.
That is pretty staggering when you think about it. He is able to pick seemingly any movie genre and then proceed to take from old things and breathe new ideas into them, making those old stories into his own.
What genre hasn’t he done yet? Science fiction. And he loves Star Trek. And if David Lynch can do a G-rate Disney movie, and since we have seen that Tarantino can work with seemingly any genre, then I have little doubt that Tarantino can make a PG or PG-13 Star Trek movie and direct the hell out of it.
But ther is plenty of time in the future to worry about it. There could be a debacle at some point. If he can’t pull it off, or the executives don’t like hos direction, then he’ll quit or get fired according to the Marvel/Star Wars franchise rules of play that have become so popular lately. That Wars would be the time to start worrying. And we’ve got plenty of years to wait and see what happens over the next few years. Let’s worry then. I’ll meet you there.
*Plus, from I’ve heard, “Star Trek: Discovery” appears to have already beaten Tarantino to the punch with the whole making Star Trek more violent.