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Nicholas Meyer (born December 24, 1945 in New York Citymarker, U.S.marker) is an American film writer, producer, director and novelist best known for his involvement in the Star Trek films. He is also well known as the director for the landmark 1983 TV-Movie The Day After, for which he was nominated for a Best Director Emmy Award. In 1977, Meyer was nominated for an Adapted Screenplay Academy Award for adapting his own 1974 novel, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, to the screen. Meyer graduated from the University of Iowamarker with a degree in theater and filmmaking.

Star Trek films

Meyer, along with writer/producer Harve Bennett, is one of two people credited with revitalizing and perhaps saving the Star Trek franchise after the problems of the first film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, almost caused Paramount Pictures to end the series. Paramount had been unhappy with the creative direction of the first film, as well as the cost overruns and production problems. However the film was also a huge box office success, and they wanted a sequel. Bennett, a reliable television producer was brought in to help get the films back on track.

Introduced to Bennett by a friend at Paramount, Meyer was brought in as a potential director for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Due to problems with the early drafts of the script, with which no one had yet been happy, he almost immediately became involved in re-writing the film's screenplay. After meeting with Bennett and other members of the cast and crew regarding the script, Meyer impressed Trek's actors and producers by delivering a superior draft of the script in only twelve days. The draft had to be complete so quickly, in fact, that Meyer agreed to forgo the negotiation of a contract or credit for his writing in order to begin work on the script immediately. This is why he is uncredited as a writer on the final film.

Meyer went on to direct the film, adding stylistic touches, such as a Naval feel, that created a lasting impression on all subsequent Star Trek productions. Meyer and Bennett together created a film that was engaging while also reducing costs and avoiding the production fiascos of the first film. The Wrath of Khan went on to be a success at the box office, and is considered by many to be the best Star Trek film to date.

Meyer subsequently went on to co-write the screenplay for the fourth Star Trek film, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home along with Bennett. For that film, Bennett wrote the first and fourth acts which center on the action in the 23rd century and Meyer wrote the second and third acts which take place in 1986 San Franciscomarker. Meyer has stated that one of the most enjoyable aspects of working on this film was getting the chance to re-use elements that he had been forced to discard from his earlier film, Time After Time. Star Trek IV proved to be a box office success, and prior to the release of the 2009 Star Trek movie was the highest grossing film in the franchise, and still is when adjusted for inflation. It is also notable in that it managed to achieve mainstream crossover success, winning praise from general moviegoers as well as science fiction and Star Trek devotees.

In 1991, Meyer again returned to the Star Trek franchise for the sixth film in the series, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. He developed the story with Leonard Nimoy and co-wrote the screenplay with longtime friend and assistant Denny Martin Flinn. He directed the picture, which was the final film to feature the entire classic Star Trek cast. This film was again a success at the box office.

Meyer's Star Trek films (II, IV, and VI) were essential in establishing the Star Trek myth that the even-numbered films are better than the odd-numbered films, which seemed to hold true until the tenth film, Star Trek Nemesis, was poorly received by critics and fans alike and turned in a poor box office performance. Ironically, Meyer was given the offer to direct Nemesis, only to turn it down due to lack of creative control.

Other work

In addition to his work on Star Trek, Meyer has written several novels, and has written and/or directed several other films.

Meyer wrote three Sherlock Holmes novels: The West End Horror, The Canary Trainer, and The Seven-Per-Cent Solution. The latter was Meyer's most famous Holmes novel and the project for which he was best known prior to his Star Trek involvement. It was also adapted into a 1976 film, directed by Herbert Ross, for which Meyer wrote the screenplay.

One of Meyer's best known non-theatrical film works was the 1983 made-for-TV movie The Day After, depicting a nuclear attack on America. Meyer had decided not to do any TV work, but changed his mind after reading the script.

Intrigued by the first part of college chum Karl Alexander's story Time After Time, Meyer optioned the book and adapted it into a screenplay of the same name , which he directed. Meyer freely allowed Alexander to borrow from the screenplay and the novel saw print at roughly the same time the movie was released. The film is perhaps Meyer's most famous non-Trek film effort .

21st century work

Meyer adapted a Philip Roth novel for The Human Stain in 2003. He teamed up with film producer Martin Scorsese in 2006 to write the screen play for Scorsese's adaptation of the Edmund Morris biography of Theodore Roosevelt, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, which won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize. Leonardo DiCaprio, who worked with Scorsese on Gangs of New York, The Aviator, and The Departed, currently is slated to play Roosevelt in this movie. This movie which will trace the early life of Roosevelt, originally a weak and asthematic young boy born to privilege but dedicated to personal achievement, political reform, and the heroic ideal.

Personal Life

Meyer has three daughters; Rachel, Madeline and Roxanne, with his wife Stephanie. The family reside in Los Angelesmarker.

References

  1. Star Trek Movies
  2. [1]


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