Paramount Pictures is moving forward with the project, hiring screenwriter Mark L. Smith to pen the screenplay based on an idea by Tarantino. Deadline broke the news of Smith’s hiring, reporting that Tarantino does indeed want to direct the sci-fi picture.
It’s surprising news on many fronts. Not only would this be Tarantino’s first sci-fi project, it’s a franchise entry, of a well known property, and he’ll be working with someone else’s script.
Smith, who Tarantino selected after seeing what he brought to a writers room that also included Lindsey Beer, Drew Pearce and Megan Amram, wrote 2007 horror film Vacancy, 2009 adventure-thriller The Hole, the 2015 English-language remake of extreme French horror film Martyrs, and co-wrote Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s The Revenant. Smith has also co-written Overlord, an upcoming J.J. Abrams-produced film that follows two American soldiers who find themselves behind enemy lines on D Day. Aussie director Julius Avery (Son of a Gun) is at the helm of that one.
In the meantime, Tarantino is readying to start on his ninth feature film, a still-untitled ’60-set picture that touches on the Manson murders. Margot Robbie is circling the role of Sharon Tate, and Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio have reportedly met with Tarantino for other roles. Stay tuned.