Notable Star Trek actor Michael Dorn is working on a new project that will allow him to explore a subject that he’s been interested in for years. No — it is not Klingon Opera or even anything to do with the franchise or even the genre. Dorn is writing a story that fits into the lore of the Wild West.
In an interview with Trek Report, Dorn said that he’s written a script for a character named “Quentin Hawks.” The film will take place in the Colorado city of Trinidad. Dorn said that he will explore the legacy of African Americans in the Old West in this project.
For those who know their Wild West history, Trinidad was the spot of a famous shootout featuring some of the same characters who were involved in shootouts in Dodge City, Kansas. In 1882, two gamblers got into a gun battle that spilled into the streets. Gun battles like that one would likely be the backdrop of Dorn’s adventure.
“[Hawks] is a Pinkerton detective who has decided to leave the country and move to Italy with his family,” said Dorn in the interview. “He gets roped into one last job. We all know that when you get roped into that ‘one last job,’ it could be your last job [ever].”
The Pinkerton Detective Agency is an exciting relic of history, which survives to this day. Started by the Scottish immigrant Allan Pinkerton, the firm stopped a plot to kill President Abraham Lincoln on the eve of his first inauguration. Pinkerton detectives have been featured in films before and have a checkered past through their 171-year existence.
Dorn said that he has a crew assembled to begin the movie, including a director of photography, a producer, and others. He’s currently looking for a distribution and production company to officially get underway.
Fans won’t have to wonder who will be the film’s star — or even the director. It will be Dorn himself.
“It’s not about the ego of doing it — because I love directing,” Dorn told Trek Report. “When you’re a director, and you’ve written the script, and you know the characters inside and out, there’s just no question. You have all the answers, and you know what direction it all needs to go. And also, one thing that I must not do, especially with other actors… I know exactly what I want to come out of that scene.”
Trek fans might not realize that Dorn has directed his fair share of shows for the franchise. He directed three episodes of Deep Space Nine — “In The Cards,” “Inquisition,” and “When It Rains.” He also directed an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise — “Two Days and Two Nights” in 2002.
Even though this is not a Star Trek story, Dorn credits his time as Mr. Worf for allowing him to dream big and make these dreams come true.
“It’s a dream of mine,” said Dorn. “I’ve been very fortunate, but this is always a dream I’ve had that I’ve wanted to do. Act, star, write and direct a western.”
Like the Original Series
In a way, Dorn’s idea is not unlike Star Trek, which was conceived as a “wagon train to the stars” by creator Gene Roddenberry. Dorn might be flipping the concept on its head with his involvement in a very-Earthbound story. Unlike a journey, or “trek” to the stars, Dorn’s Quentin Hawks will be trekking to the truth, or at least, to that “one last job.”
A Different Outcome
While Dorn will be following in the footsteps of fellow Trek icon William Shatner, hopefully, the film’s outcome will be different. Shatner famously tried to co-write, direct, and star in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, which suffered from production delays and cost overruns from the start.
Perhaps Dorn will have better luck with his film than Shatner did with Star Trek V.
It is interesting to note that Dorn and Shatner appeared together on screen in Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country. Dorn played an ancestor of his Next Generation character, Colonel Worf, who defended James T. Kirk in a Klingon trial.