EXCLUSIVE: After Deadline this week revealed that Quentin Tarantino pitched a Star Trek film to JJ Abrams and Paramount, the whole thing is moving at warp speed. Tarantino met for hours in a writers room with Mark L. Smith, Lindsey Beer, Drew Pearce and Megan Amram. They kicked around ideas and one of them will get the job. I’m hearing the frontrunner is Smith, who wrote The Revenant. The film will most certainly go where no Star Trek has gone before: Tarantino has required it to be R rated, and Paramount and Abrams agreed to that condition. Most mega budget tent poles restrict the film to a PG-13 rating in an effort to maximize the audience. That was the reason that Guillermo Del Toro’s $150 million At The Mountains of Madness didn’t go forward at Universal, even though Tom Cruise was ready to star. The exception to this rule was Fox’s Deadpool, but that film started out with modest ambitions before it caught on and became the biggest R rated film ever.

Mark L. Smith
REX/Shuttertock

That rating was crucially important to Tarantino, who hopes to direct this Star Trek and who has helmed R rated films his entire career. Imagine how this could open storytelling lanes, or even what the banter on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise might be, if you conjure up memories of the conversations between Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, or the banter at the diner between robbers before the heist gone wrong that triggered the action in Reservoir Dogs.

Smith is best known for writing the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed The Revenant and subsequently overhauled Overlord, the WWII thriller that Abrams’ Bad Robot is producing for Paramount. Pearce’s script credits include Iron Man 3, Sherlock Holmes 3, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and the TV series Runaway TV; he just directed his script Hotel Artemis; Beer’s credits are mostly upcoming, and include the Doug Liman-directed Chaos Walking, as well as Godzilla Vs. Kong, Masters of the Universe, Barbarella and Dungeons and Dragons, all big scale stuff.

Drew Pearce
REX/Shutterstock

They will lock one of the three quickly (if there is a front runner, it might be Smith), and the film will be scripted based on Tarantino’s idea while Tarantino is filming his next film about the Manson summer of 1969, which got set at Sony and has I, Tonya‘s Margot Robbie poised to play Sharon Tate, and Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt all having met with the filmmaker about roles.