Quentin Tarantino is keen on taking the Star Trek franchise to a place it’s never been before, but one person is apparently throwing off his groove. Someone who apparently doesn’t get what Tarantino is hoping to do with his Star Trek film is Simon Pegg, whom Tarantino fired a public shot at.
In a recent interview with Deadline, Tarantino got to talking about his in-the-works Star Trek film, for which he has a very specific vision. As is standard for the violence-and-vulgarity-favoring filmmaker, he wants it to be R-rated, and every bit as bold and bombastic as his past works.
Tarantino got candid when he shared that he gets, quote, “annoyed at Simon Pegg” for comments the actor and filmmaker has previously made about the potential Star Trek project. Pegg, of course, is known for his role in the Star Trek reboot franchise as USS Enterprise engineer Montgomery Scott, aka Scotty, a role previously made iconic by also-not-Scottish actor James Doohan.
In addition to playing the new Scotty, Pegg is also an accomplished screenwriter who co-wrote the previous Star Trek movie, 2016’s Star Trek Beyond, with writer Doug Jung. Since then, he’s been asked on multiple occasions about Tarantino’s potential involvement in a new Trek film, and his comments have apparently rubbed Tarantino the wrong way. Not mincing words, he told Deadline,
“He doesn’t know anything about what’s going on and he keeps making all these comments as if he knows about stuff. One of the comments he said, he’s like, ‘Well, look, it’s not going to be Pulp Fiction in space.’ Yes, it is!”
Tarantino went on to claim that he has yet to encounter a science fiction movie that approaches the material with his particular style, or what he calls, quote, “that Pulp Fiction-y aspect.”
Pegg made the “Pulp Fiction in space” comment in May 2018, during an interview with Coming Soon. In context, Pegg’s remarks were far from critical. He said of Tarantino’s potential movie,
“Everyone sort of assumes it’s gonna be like Pulp Fiction in space, but I think his devotion to Trek and his understanding of it… It won’t be ordinary, it’ll have him all over it, but it won’t be anything a Star Trek fan will have to worry about.”
Pegg went on to note that at the time, he had not yet read Tarantino’s treatment for the film.
Pegg also made comments about the film a few months earlier during a red carpet interview with the outlet HeyUGuys in March 2018. On that occasion, Pegg pushed back against the idea that Tarantino’s Star Trek would be R-rated, as well as the idea that he would even be writing the project himself at all.
It seems like Tarantino is expressing his annoyance not because of the content of Pegg’s remarks, but because he’s been on record speculating about it at all, which is an understandable position to take.
But in Pegg’s defense, there is a lot of ambiguity and uncertainty surrounding the Star Trek flick in question — including whether Tarantino will even direct it, which actors might board to reprise their roles, when it would be released, what the story will be, and if it will serve as the fourth Star Trek film in the new continuity or a separate entry into the franchise entirely.
For Tarantino’s part, he made it clear to Deadline that a final decision on his involvement in making a movie is still very much to be determined, though the project is being worked on. He said,
“I will say one thing about Star Trek that I’ve been waiting for someone to bring up: I don’t know if I’ll do it or not. I’ve got to figure it out, but Mark [L. Smith] wrote a really cool script. I like it a lot. There’s some things I need to work on but I really, really liked it.”
Tarantino isn’t known for skirting around profanity or violence, and he’s made it clear that if he’s going to do Star Trek, he’s going to do it his way – no matter what anyone has to say about it.
“If you’ve seen my nine movies, you kind of know my way is an R-rated way and a way that is without certain restrictions. So that goes part and parcel. I think it would be more controversial if I said I’m going to do a PG movie and it’s going to fit exactly in the universe.”
In the Deadline interview, the filmmaker also made a somewhat controversial statement of his own, asserting that,
“As long as Paramount likes the idea and the script they almost got nothing to lose right now when it comes to Star Trek.”
It’s not hard to read that as potentially being a shot at the current state of the franchise, which is currently floundering on the big screen. Though it was previously reported that a fourth movie in the film franchise would be going forward centering on James Kirk’s relationship with his father George, played by Chris Hemsworth in the 2009 Star Trek, that movie ended up being cancelled, allegedly over contract negotiations with the cast that fell through.
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