Star Trek, in its original incarnation, was about hope and promise through the lens of technology and science. As the culture has changed, so has Trek, and in its current status, it’s basically a space adventure franchise. It hasn’t become “bad” per say, but it’s reached the point where die-hard fans are willing to acknowledge that the J.J. Abrams movie universe and the new Star Trek: Discovery aren’t quite Trek even if they’re entertaining sci-fi fare.
During an extended Q&A after Collider’s IMAX screening of Mission: Impossible – Fallout, writer-director Christopher McQuarrie gave his thoughts on tackling Trek, how’d he like to pursue it, and the challenges of making a Star Trek movie today:
If you did have an opportunity to do Star Trek, would you rather pursue it in television, or for streaming or something like that, or as a theater film?
MCQUARRIE: Yeah, probably a feature. Probably, yeah, a feature. I feel like Star Trek is kind of… it’s gone away from what the tenants of the series were about, which was kind of the hope and the promise and the science.
But don’t you think that when you make the feature, you have to hit the four quadrants, you gotta make it sort of an action-y, swashbuckling thing, and when it’s on television you can do more sci-fi?
MCQUARRIE: It’s simple math, you know what you have to do with Star Trek? You have to make Star Trek for a domestic audience. Star Trek does better domestically than it does internationally, so I would come to Star Trek, and go, “Realistically, how much money should I make this Star Trek movie for?” And you’d give me a budget, and I’d go off and make the movie. That’s what I would do. You look at any movie like that, if you just be honest with yourself about the economics, it’s just a very real part of doing that.
I like that McQuarrie’s answer is grounded in the realities of moviemaking rather than just imagining some random Star Trek story he would like to tell regardless of the economics of actually making it.
As for whether he’s talked with Mission: Impossible star and Star Trek Beyond co-writer Simon Pegg about Trek, McQuarrie says, “Only after the fact. Like, we haven’t talked about doing one. I mean, I told him, I was like, ‘I’d love to do a Star Trek movie.’”
The current status of the next Star Trek movie is a big mystery. The fourth installment might lose Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pine over a budget dispute, and without George Kirk and James Kirk, you don’t really have a movie. There’s also Quentin Tarantino‘s desire to make a Trek movie, but he’s currently working on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, so he’s not doing Trek anytime soon. With all this chaos, maybe it’s time for a reboot with McQuarrie taking the reins.
If you missed any of our previous breakout stories from the McQuarrie Q&A, peruse the links below. Look for the full, lengthy interview on Collider soon.
- Christopher McQuarrie on ‘Man of Steel 2’ and His Involvement with ‘Green Lantern’
- ‘Mission: Impossible’ Ilsa Spinoff Unlikely, But McQuarrie Has a Better Movie Idea for Rebecca Ferguson