It’s annoyingly difficult to figure out what’s going on with the Star Trek movie properties at the moment—although, to be fair, that appears to be just as messy of an issue for the people inside Paramount right now as out. Per Deadline, the studio’s new Motion Picture Group president, Emma Watts—fresh off her tenure at Twentieth Century Fox—has been attempting to work out which of the three (possibly competing) Trek movie proposals will actually move forward at the studio: The one that would see Chris Hemsworth possibly rejoin the cast of the J.J. Abrams movies, the one Quentin Tarantino may or may not have agreed to direct, and the one from Fargo and Legion’s Noah Hawley.
Yesterday, we wrote about reports that Hawley’s project had apparently fallen by the intergalactic wayside, possibly due to being centered on a massive pandemic tearing its way through the Federation. (And really, the whole concept strains plausibility; how could any advanced civilization let such a thing happen?!) But those same reports also contained a tidbit we’d initially missed about Tarantino’s maybe-movie, i.e., that it was apparently going to be set in a very QT comfort zone-affirming locale: On the surface of a gangster planet.
Specifically, the movie’s script—written by Mark L. Smith—was apparently a riff on the second-season Original Series episode “A Piece Of The Action,” a.k.a., “The One Where There’s A Gangster Planet.” Which, besides sounding like a joke—”Did you hear about Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek movie? People stand around wearing suits and point guns at each other”—also sounds like it’d be a lot cheaper than having to film a bunch of spaceship stuff.
The same Deadline report, though, notes that a) Tarantino is apparently not directing the film, although he’d probably still produce, and b) that it’s probably going to end up in the “Maybe we do it as a spin-off further down the line” category as the Hawley project. That only leaves the direct sequel to 2016's Star Trek Beyond in the running, which has apparently been held up because getting Chris Pine and the rest of the Abrams/Lin cast together is going to be extremely expensive. To which we say: There’s no reason there can’t be two Star Trek movies set on gangster planets, right?