Friday, July 11, 2014
Photo: Cover art of the book, from trekmovie.com
A very interesting book, more about writing and directing in Hollywood than about just Star Trek. Having said that, it would help mightily to be a fan of the series. It's not that you have to be a fan to enjoy it; it's that Star Trek, in some way, takes up probably 50% to 75% of the book.
Still, there are other interesting things here:
--It takes about two seconds for directors to become nobodies in Hollywood. I thought it was fast for actors...
--If you're not going to act, you'd better be able to write. And fast.
--Meyer culled five or six screenplay drafts of Star Trek II and wrote Wrath of Khan by combining the best elements of those unfilmed drafts, plus his own ideas.
--And he wrote the screenplay for free.
--In twelve days.
--And didn't take a screenplay credit for it.
--I watched Wrath of Khan again last week, after finishing this book. It holds up surprisingly well.
--He insists those are Montalban's real pecs. Says so repeatedly. I still don't believe it.
--And there's no way a genius like Khan doesn't get the twice-repeated "If we go by the book" coded message from Spock to Kirk near the end.
--The latest Star Trek movie is, of course, a parallel-universe version of this. Abrams clearly liked Wrath of Khan and honors it constantly in his film.
--Which is in some ways better. But mostly I don't think one is better than the other. Just...different. Each couldn't have been made in their respective eras.
--(Back to the book. Sorry for the digression.)
--Nicholas Meyer somehow survived very successfully in Hollywood despite very powerful depressive and neurotic tendencies. By his own frequent admission.
--He says the Trek movies he wrote and wrote / directed (II, IV and VI) were the best ones. He is, of course, correct. One had its moments; III was okay but too predictable and violent; and V was just plain awful.
--His first novel, one that made Sherlock Holmes meet Freud, was very good. I haven't read his others, but plan to. His books overall have done pretty well, especially his Holmes.
It's an easy read. If you're a fan of movies, writing, Hollywood, and / or Star Trek, give it a shot.