Mark L Smith has been chosen to script director Quentin Tarantino’s pitched Star Trek film for Paramount Pictures.
The pairing of Tarantino and Smith is an interesting one. The Revenant was Smith’s first big break in Hollywood and the script is notable for its paucity of dialogue. Tarantino, on the other, is well known for his highly stylized dialogue and the verbosity of his characters.
The project came to light earlier this month when news broke that the iconic indie director had met with Trek producer J J Abrams with a story idea for the long-runnning science-fiction franchise. The studio liked the idea so much that they quickly assembled a writers room for Tarantino to work with on polishing the idea into a story treatment. In addition to Smith, Lindsey Beer, Drew Pearce and Megan Amram participated in that process, though Smith was seen as the frontrunner in getting the actual scripting gig.
Currently, Tarantino is prepping to shoot his next film, an untitled project set in Los Angeles at the time of the Manson Family murders, for a spring start. That film is scheduled for an August 9, 2019 release date. While he is doing that, Smith, whose deal with Paramount was finalized today, will commence work.
There is no deal in place for Tarantino to direct, though he has expressed a desire to do so. If he does, this would be the first film he has made where he didn’t write the screenplay himself.
Paramount has assured Tarantino that he could take his Trek film into R-rated territory, a direction in which that the franchise has not gone before.