He needs it to be rated R. And Paramount Pictures has said, "OK."
That's according to Deadline, which revealed earlier this week that Tarantino had a Trek story he wanted to pitch to the studio and possibly shoot.
Paramount, looking for a way to invigorate the franchise on the big screen, was supposedly eager to hear what he had to say, according to Deadline, which reports that a writers' room was quickly assembled this week consisting of Mark L. Smith (The Revenant), Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3), and Lindsey Beer (Godzilla v. Kong), who listened to Tarantino's ideas and kicked around a few more, with one of those writers — the frontrunner for now is Smith -— ultimately destined to write the script.
But Tarantino's stipulation for directing is that the film be rated R — because all of his films to date have been rated R — and apparently Paramount and producer J.J. Abrams have agreed to go along with that.
Until last year, an R-rated franchise tentpole was about as rare an event as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders sitting down to lunch. An R rating restricts the number of teens who can attend, and $150-$200 million blockbusters need all the ticket sales they can get (there are also cases, like Disney, in which the company does not make R-rated movies as part of its corporate identity).
But Deadpool in 2016 and Logan this year, among others, proved that the rating will not stop movies geared toward geek and/or younger audiences from becoming massive hits, even if they do lose some family audience in the balance. Could Star Trek benefit from the same adjustment?
And just what would an R-rated Trek movie entail, especially one directed by Tarantino? Would he ramp up the sex and violence and raunchy language? (His films contain a lot of the latter two, not as much of the former.) Would a more adult-oriented Trek containing those elements take the franchise away from its roots? Not even the slightly edgier Star Trek: Discovery would rate more than a PG-13 if it were shown at the local multiplex.
This is going to be fascinating to watch. If Tarantino does indeed direct a Star Trek movie that requires an R rating, he'll truly take the franchise — you knew it was coming — where no Trek has gone before.