0

The Wrath Of Khan’s Director Shares His Thoughts On The Star Trek Reboot

fb share tweet share

MeyerIt takes a certain amount of chutzpah to take on the task of rebooting the venerable Star Trek franchise in the first place. It takes an extra-special brand of crazy to tackle arguably the greatest villain of the franchise, who starred in arguably the greatest film of the franchise. But that’s precisely what director J.J. Abrams and screenwriters Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof did with last year’s controversial Star Trek Into Darkness. Trek fans have certainly let the world know how they felt about nü-Khan, but does the guy who actually directed The Wrath of Khan think?

Director Nicholas Meyer (seen above, with actor Ricardo Montalbán) was recently doing the rounds to promote the History Channel’s Houdini miniseries, which he directed. At one of those press conferences, a reporter asked the very question we posed above. At first Meyer deflected by recalling a story about how he gave J.J. Abrams a copy of The Annotated Sherlock Holmes for his Bar Mitzvah, but one of CraveOnline’s journos pressed the question by asking, “So, you liked his movies, or…?” Meyer’s response was both diplomatic and insightful:

0

Wrath Of Khan’s Nicholas Meyer Turns 68: Today In Science & Science Fiction

fb share tweet share

MeyerWhen people talk about the fact that, for the longest time, Star Trek’s even-numbered films were awesome, but the odd-numbered ones were disappointing, one of the people most responsible for those exceptional even outings is Nicholas Meyer. He directed both Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, easily two of the franchise’s high points. He also did script work — some credited, some not — on both of those films, as well as Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. He is especially credited for, along with Harve Bennett, creating a solid script for Wrath of Khan that also reigned in the budget after the bloated excess of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Wrath of Khan’s budget was around $11 million — less than half that of The Motion Picture — and it took in a global box office haul of $97 million (in 1982 dollars, obviously).

Meyer was also responsible for two iconic films outside the Trek canon. He adapted his own best-selling novel The Seven-Per-Cent Solution into a 1976 film. It features a stricken Sherlock Holmes, unable to shake his powerful addiction to cocaine, consulting with one Dr. Sigmund Freud. Continuing his knack for mixing historical and fictional characters, Meyer also wrote and directed 1979’s Time After Time, which had H.G. Wells using his infamous time machine to chase Jack the Ripper into the 20th century (with Malcolm McDowell as Wells and David Warner as the Ripper).

0

Wrath Of Khan Director Penning TV Pilot About The Origins Of The Space Race

fb share tweet share

SputnikWhenever the American space program is featured in film, it’s usually in the context of a huge shuttle launch or someone having a problem while they’re already stuck in space. (“Houston, we’s in trouble!”) A few months ago we reported on Man Men writers creating a series set around Cape Canaveral during the 1960s space program, and while that seemed like a nice departure from the norm, it really just sounded like any other primetime drama, only with people using words like “thrusters” more often. What’s sadly absent are projects that focus on the beginning of the space race, focusing on the geniuses who made it possible for men like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to become national heroes.

Matthew Brzezinski’s 2008 book Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age lays out the high-stakes competition between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. in the earlier days of the space race, presenting a fast-paced view of a sliceide of history that doesn’t always find a spotlight. Primeridian Entertainment has optioned the book’s rights for adaptation and has tapped screenwriter Nicholas Meyer to write a pilot and full treatment for an as-yet-untitled TV series.