Speculation about Tarantino’s last movie has now reached full tilt — but are we really ready for Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek? There is only one final film to go before we find out if QT was bluffing or not. But what should it be? For us fans, what would be a satisfactory swan song?

Quentin Tarantino movies are special — we know this because Tarantino lets us know how special they are. It all started with Kill Bill Vol. 1 when the poster informed us that this was “The 4th film by Quentin Tarantino.” The numbers faded from the marketing until The Hateful Eight and Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood received designations as “The 8th” and “The 9th.” And this makes whatever “The 10th film by Quentin Tarantino” will be the most special of all. When Tarantino began discussing his imminent retirement, these numbers became a countdown. 

In case you need reminding of how Tarantino movies work

Tarantino's Next Movie

Would we be satisfied with anything?

The first question we need to answer is, "What do we want from QT's last film?" Do we want something that fits right in with the rest of his filmography, or would we rather see him branch out? The answer for most people is probably the former. 

If we look back through his filmography, we can see a gradual evolution that seems to work for him and us. Each film adopts a unique setting from the last, but the actual content remains familiar. 

This allows QT to avoid cries of self-plagiarism without enraging the hardcore fans who want more of what they got last time.

Despite working in different genres, there are consistent elements that define Quentin Tarantino's directing style. Guns and gunplay are inextricable props; crime and criminals are mainstays; we can expect some sort of revenge plot. And, loquacious dialogue, of course. These have all been significant themes and motifs in Quentin Tarantino movies, and it's safe to say that we can expect them in the last one.

Back in 2015, when talk of retirement began

Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek

Pulp Fiction in Space?

This leads us to one of the leading possibilities surrounding QT's final film: Star Trek. Back in 2017, news broke that Tarantino had come up with an idea for a new Star Trek film, and even received Paramount and J.J. Abrams' blessing. 

The actual scripting duties were handed off to Mark L. Smith, screenwriter of The Revenant and Overlord. At that time, Quentin did express interest in directing it, but his primary focus was Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood.

Quentin Tarantino's Star Trek is a divisive idea to be sure. Tarantino fans have been confused by the choice, and Trek fans have been up in arms about this potential "Pulp Fiction in Space," including a brief public spat with Simon Pegg. 

Tarantino Talks Trek

Would it be interesting to see Quentin Tarantino's Star Trek? Absolutely. If he doesn't actually go through with it for his final film, the abandoned project will go down as one of Hollywood's greatest "What if's..." 

Think about it: an R-rated Star Trek movie is intriguing on its own. Any initial detractors must admit that this wouldn't just be ANY R-rated version — that would seem unnecessary. 

But Tarantino is an avid fan of the franchise. He would approach the project from a place of respect rather than abusing the property out of pure self-interest. 

And remember: his idea would have to be pretty amazing for Paramount to get behind it. This is a massive franchise for them, and they've already spent three films and gajillions of dollars rebranding and reviving it. They wouldn't potentially undo all of that just for just anyone or any idea.

Did You Know?

Quentin Tarantino's plans after film directing include writing novels, plays, television, and books on film history.

Options for Tarantino's New Movie

Tarantino goes horror

Tarantino has also expressed interest in doing a horror film if he could come up with the right idea. “I would love to do a horror movie,” says the director. He did make Death Proof, which he modeled after a slasher movie, but the actual connections to that sub-genre are barely there. 

Tarantino discusses horror as one of his first favorite genres

So, if Tarantino went full-on horror, would that work? 

Horror films are predisposed to violence, and we know that violence is in QT's wheelhouse — it was built on it, in fact. We also know from The Hateful Eight and Inglourious Basterds that Tarantino has the chops to craft genuine suspense

Tarantino also pays a lot of attention to sound design, especially in violent scenes. Since horror is so dependent on great sound, can you imagine what a QT horror movie would sound like? Watch this breakdown of how he uses sound and consider the possibilities.

Tarantino Sound Design  •  Subscribe on YouTube

And Tarantino's appeal to young adults has sustained over his career — a demographic that horror also relies upon. The verdict? Yes, a Quentin Tarantino horror movie would definitely work.

Quentin Tarantino New Movie

Tarantino, the big softy

What if QT pulls a complete 180 and ends his career with something entirely out of the box. What about a Romantic Comedy? 

We would sorely miss any lack of violence and crime, but what's Tarantino's strong suit? Dialogue — something a Rom-Com absolutely needs to work. 

Have we seen romantic leanings before in Tarantino's filmography? We could say True Romance and stop there, but let’s continue for argument’s sake. 

Who says QT doesn't have a romantic side?

Reservoir Dogs? No. Pulp Fiction? Yes! Jackie Brown? Yes! Kill Bill? Barely. Inglourious Basterds? Nope. Django Unchained? Limited, but yes! The Hateful Eight? No way. Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood? Not really but it is dripping with sentimentality. 

And maybe that's the key to this potential avenue. Is Tarantino getting sappy in his old age? Is that cool and rough exterior being eroded away with time to reveal a soft spot? He did just get married and is expecting his first child. Hmm...


Singing, dancing...and shooting

What about a musical? There's no doubt that QT has an affinity for his soundtracks. Every time out, he curates a vintage soundtrack that becomes a spectacle all its own. 

It's doubtful that he would go full Busby Berkeley or Stephen Sondheim, but we can imagine a scenario in which music takes (even more) center stage in a Tarantino film. 

Consider this video and how thrilling it would be if Tarantino went "full musical." You know deep down how amazing that would be.

Quentin Tarantino Music  •  Subscribe on YouTube

He's already crafted scenes and sequences around a particular track of music. The choreography in Kill Bill, especially the House of Blue Leaves sequence, feels like a musical already — minus the plethora of dismembered limbs. No one's singing but everything else about that amazing sequence screams "musical."

Quentin Tarantino Last Movie

A potential loophole

What if Tarantino decides to return to Kill Bill? The idea was floated after Vol. 2 was released that a possible way back to The Bride's saga would be through Nicki, the daughter left stunned as she witnesses her mother’s death in the kitchen. 

The Bride even sets this potential 3rd installment up right then and there: "When you grow up, if you still feel raw about it, I'll be waiting."


And check this out: Ambrosia Kelley, who played Nicki, is now 24 years old. Plenty of time to grow up, train, and exact her revenge. Sidenote: wouldn’t it be amazing if Nicki gets trained by Elle, the last surviving (but blind) member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad?!

There might also be a loophole built into QT's planned retirement. Since Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 are considered only 1 of his 10, technically, would Vol. 3 be a "freebie"? And then he’d have to make yet another film for his actual last movie!

For those of us who dread Tarantino's absence from filmmaking, this option is mighty appealing.

"If you still feel raw about it..."

New Quentin Tarantino

In closing

How do you want to see Quentin Tarantino go out? With something more in-line with what he's already done? More of a last trip down Nostalgia Lane? Or with a curveball that no one expected, just to prove that he could do it? 

No matter what Tarantino has in store for his farewell feature, we know it'll be good. And we know that he'll do exactly what this whole retirement thing was about: go out on top.


Quotes and tips from Tarantino

If you’re not sure which direction Tarantino should go, maybe it’s time to go back to his own words. Maybe we can find the answer to this riddle from Tarantino himself. As he discusses his work, where he gets his inspiration, how he likes to work, etc., he gives us direct insight into his passions and his process. 

Up Next: Tarantino speaks →
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  • Brent Dunham earned his B.A. from USC and an M.A. from Chapman University in Film Studies. He has taught various film courses to students from 7th grade to undergraduates.

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