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Nicholas Meyer Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (1)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (10)  | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (1)

Born in New York City, New York, USA

Mini Bio (1)

Nicholas Meyer was born in New York City, the son of a psychoanalyst and a concert pianist. He attended the University of Iowa, home of the famous Writers Workshop.

Meyer's award-winning teleplays for ABC's JUDGE DEE & MONASTERY MURDERS and CBS's NIGHT THAT PANICKED AMERICA launched his screenwriting career, though the WGA strike of 1973 caused him to set aside screenwriting and try his hand at novels. TARGET PRACTICE was published in March 1974 and won an Edgar nomination. It was followed four months later by his Sherlock Holmes pastiche, THE SEVEN-PER-CENT SOLUTION, which remained on the NY Times Bestseller list for 40 weeks and won the British Gold Dagger award for crime fiction.

Meyer's screenplay for The Seven-Per-Cent Solution was nominated for an Academy Award in 1976. The film starred Nicole Williamson, Robert Duvall, Alan Arkin, Laurence Olivier and Vanessa Redgrave.

In 2015 IDW published the graphic novel version of the book in five installments.

Meyer's directing debut - from his own screenplay - occurred in 1979 with TIME AFTER TIME, starring Malcolm MacDowell and David Warner. The film introduced Mary Steenburgen.

This was followed by STAR TREK II - THE WRATH OF KHAN (1982) and THE DAY AFTER, (1983) ABC's nuclear-themed movie, which remains the single most watched television film ever made, nominated for fourteen Emmys. Its controversial telecast drew over one hundred million viewers.

Subsequent Meyer novels include two other Holmes pastiches, THE WEST END HORROR, (1976) and THE CANARY TRAINER (1993); also BLACK ORCHID (co-authored with Barry Jay Kaplan) (1977) and CONFESSIONS OF A HOMING PIGEON (1981).

Other directing credits include VOLUNTEERS, starring Tom Hanks and John Candy (1986), THE DECEIVERS, starring Pierce Brosnan (1988), COMPANY BUSINESS, starring Gene Hackman and Mikhail Baryishnikov (1991), STAR TREK VI, THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY, starring Christopher Plummer (1992) and the HBO film, VENDETTA, (1999), starring Christopher Walken.

Other screenplays include SOMMERSBY, starring Richard Gere and Jody Foster (1993) and contributions to the Dreamworks animated feature, PRINCE OF EGYPT.

His screenplay, THE INFORMANT, based on Gerald Seymour's novel, FIELD OF BLOOD, won the PEN award for Best Teleplay, 1999.

His screenplay for the novel THE HUMAN STAIN by Philip Roth, starring Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman, was released October 31, 2003. His screenplay, ELEGY, (based on Roth's novella, THE DYING ANIMAL), was released in August of 2008. The film stars Ben Kingsley, Penelope Cruz, Dennis Hopper, Patricia Clarkson and Peter Saarsgard.

His Hollywood memoir, THE VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE - Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood, was published by Viking in 2009.

His two part miniseries, HOUDINI, starring Adrien Brody, aired over Labor Day 2014. Meyer's script was nominated for a WGA award and the series was nominated for seven Emmys.

In 2016, He co-created and wrote the first two episodes of the Netflix series, MEDICI - Masters of Florence, starring Dustin Hoffman.

He also worked on the forthcoming Star Trek television series, DISCOVERY, for CBS Access.

Forthcoming projects include a feature adaptation Dan Simmons' novel, THE CROOK FACTORY, for Johnny Depp, and FREUD - THE SECRET CASEBOOK as well as the limited series, RAT LINE - Nazis on the Run.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Nicholas Meyer and Terry Lee Rioux

Trivia (10)

Received his Bachelor's degree in theater and filmmaking from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa (1968).
His shooting screenplay for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) was subtitled "The Undiscovered Country", which was what William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" called death. This was a metaphor for Spock, who dies in that film. The film was ultimately renamed "The Wrath of Khan" by Paramount executives. When he was signed on to help create Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), he again used the subtitle, but this time it was a metaphor for future peace between two warring galactic superpowers, loosely based on the end of the cold war unfolding at the time.
His novel "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution", teaming Sherlock Holmes with Sigmund Freud, hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, remaining on it for 40 weeks.
Following disputes with network censors over the amount of violence in The Day After (1983), Meyer vowed to never work in the medium of television again.
Credits his success at writing the Star Trek films with his near-ignorance of the original series. Despite heated disputes with creator Gene Roddenberry, Meyer stuck to his vision of a more nautical-style Starfleet, and is widely credited, along with Harve Bennett with reinvigorating the franchise.
Originally urged to use Mick Jagger as Jack the Ripper in his first film Time After Time (1979), he persuaded Warner Bros to use David Warner instead. After Warner Bros. rejected his idea of Derek Jacobi as H.G. Wells, he persuaded them to give the role to Malcolm McDowell. He insisted on hiring Miklos Rozsa to compose the music.
He was awarded the 1980 Saturn Award for Best Writing in Time After Time (1979), the 1983 Saturn Award for Best Director in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), the 1984 George Pal Memorial Award, and the 1992 Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991).
Classmates with Marc Furstenberg at the University of Iowa.
Currently resides in Santa Monica, California.
The final shooting draft of the script for Fatal Attraction (1987), dated January 1987 from Paramount Pictures story department, credits both original screenwriter James Dearden and Nicholas Meyer. Meyer apparently did a set of revisions prior to filming, but did not receive any on-screen credit.

Personal Quotes (3)

[on Time After Time (1979)] One of my original conceptual things about the Ripper was that of an exceedingly handsome, elegant man. Wells, next to him, was a runt who wore glasses, and so forth. The Ripper had an image of tremendous power and potency, not just as a menace, but as an attractive, seductive human being. What was it that women went for him?
[on the difference between an actor and a movie star] An actor is someone who pretends to be somebody else. A movie star is somebody who pretends that somebody else is them. Actors will change their face, will change their hair, will change their voice, will disappear into the role. A movie star doesn't disappear.
[on the Star Trek villains] The best villains are the ones that you can understand. And the really great villains are the ones that you root for. One of us is gonna live and one of us is gonna die. And it doesn't really matter what anyone's motives are at that point. It's just Darwin.

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