Mark L Smith
Kathy Hutchins /

So you may have heard that Quentin Tarantino is working on a ‘Star Trek’ film. That sentence (which I honestly never thought I’d have to say) suddenly became a fact of life when the news broke earlier this month. That stunning announcement was followed by the bombshell that the film would – like the rest of Tarantino’s work – be targeting an R-rating, something unprecedented for the franchise. But even in the wake of that flood of news (indeed, perhaps precisely because the news itself was so surreal), there was some question, some lingering doubt as to whether or not the stars would align for this particular ‘Trek’.

Now, however, the film just got one step closer to reality. The revelation of the project a few weeks back came along with the announcement that following Tarantino’s pitch to JJ Abrams, a writers room had been established to fine-tune the pitch. That writers room consisted of Tarantino himself, along with Mark L. Smith, Lindsey Beer, and Drew Pearce. The plan was for this team of writers to flesh out the story before selecting one of their number to pen the screenplay. And now, it seems, the story has been sufficiently fleshed out, as Paramount has named Mark L. Smith as the film’s writer.

Smith, who had reportedly emerged as an early favorite for the job, is best known for writing the screenplay for ‘The Revenant’. The irony of a filmmaker as famous for dialog as Tarantino handing off a story to the writer of a film equally famous for its Spartan approach to the same is almost palpable.

Nothing is publicly known of the film’s plot at this time, but in the past, Tarantino has expressed an appreciation for ‘Star Trek’ episodes that deal with big, esoteric sci-fi concepts, including classics such as ‘The City on the Edge of Forever’ and ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’. This may give us some sense of what to expect from the finished product.

Tarantino is set to produce the film alongside JJ Abrams. The ‘Hateful Eight’ auteur also has the option to direct, but it remains to be seen if he will elect to do so.

Be sure to check back with for more news on Tarantino’s ‘Star Trek’ project as it becomes available.