Open main menu

Nicholas Meyer (born December 24, 1945) is an American writer and director, known for his best-selling novel The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, and for directing the films Time After Time, two of the Star Trek feature film series, the 1983 television movie The Day After, and the 1999 HBO original movie Vendetta.

Nicholas Meyer
Nicholas Meyer (2008-11-17).jpg
Meyer at the Air Force Film Festival in Los Angeles at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (November 14, 2008 (2008-11-14))
Born (1945-12-24) December 24, 1945 (age 73)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationScreenwriter, film producer, film director, novelist

Meyer was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the film The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976), where he adapted his own novel into a screenplay. He has also been nominated for a Satellite Award, three Emmy Awards, and has won four Saturn Awards. He appeared as himself during the 2017 On Cinema spinoff series The Trial, during which he testified about Star Trek and San Francisco.

Early lifeEdit

Meyer was born in New York City, New York, to a Jewish family. He is the son of Elly (Kassman), a concert pianist, and Bernard Constant Meyer, a Manhattan psychoanalyst.[1][2] Meyer graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in theater and filmmaking, and also wrote film reviews for the campus newspaper.



Meyer first gained public attention for his best-selling 1974 Sherlock Holmes novel The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, a story of Holmes confronting his cocaine addiction with the help of Sigmund Freud.

Meyer followed this with two additional Holmes novels: The West End Horror (1976), and The Canary Trainer (1993).


The Seven-Per-Cent Solution was later adapted as a 1976 film of the same name, for which Meyer wrote the screenplay. The film was directed by Herbert Ross and starred Nicol Williamson, Robert Duvall, Alan Arkin and Laurence Olivier. For his work adapting the novel, Meyer was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 49th Academy Awards.

Intrigued by the first part of college friend Karl Alexander's then-incomplete novel Time After Time, Meyer optioned the book and adapted it into a screenplay. He consented to sell the script only if he were attached as director. The deal was optioned by Warner Bros., and the film became Meyer's directorial debut. Meyer freely allowed Alexander to borrow from the screenplay. The latter published his novel at about the same time the movie was released.

Time After Time (1979) starred Malcolm McDowell, Mary Steenburgen and David Warner. It was a critical and commercial success.[3]

At the behest of then Paramount executive Karen Moore, Meyer was hired to direct Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.[4]

Meyer later directed the 1983 television film The Day After, starring Jason Robards, JoBeth Williams, John Cullum, Bibi Besch, John Lithgow and Steve Guttenberg, which depicted the ramifications of a nuclear attack on the United States. Meyer had originally decided not to do any television work, but changed his mind upon reading the script by Edward Hume. For his work on The Day After, Meyer was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Director. Afterward, he also directed "The Pied Piper of Hamelin", a 1985 episode of the television series Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre.

He resumed directing theatrical films with the 1985 comedy Volunteers, starring Tom Hanks and John Candy. After directing Volunteers, Meyer returned to working on Star Trek, co-writing the screenplay for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) with producer Harve Bennett.

In 1986 Meyer helped James Dearden write the screenplay for Fatal Attraction, which was based on a short movie Dearden made in 1980 called Diversion.[5] In Meyer's book The View from the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood, he explains that in late 1986 producer Stanley R. Jaffe asked him to look at the script developed by Dearden, and he wrote a four-page memo making suggestions for the script including a new ending for the movie. A few weeks later he met with director Adrian Lyne and gave him some additional suggestions.

Meyer's next directing job was the 1988 Merchant Ivory produced drama The Deceivers, with Pierce Brosnan as British officer William Savage. Meyer later wrote and directed the 1991 spy comedy Company Business, starring Gene Hackman and Mikhail Baryshnikov as aging American and Russian secret agents. In 1991, Meyer once again returned to the world of Star Trek, co-writing and directing Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, which became a swan song for the original cast.[6] Meyer performed uncredited rewrites on an early draft of the screenplay of the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies.[7]

Meyer adapted the Philip Roth novel The Human Stain into the 2003 film of the same name. In 2006, he teamed with Martin Scorsese to write the screenplay for Scorsese's adaptation of Edmund Morris's Pulitzer Prize winning biography of Theodore Roosevelt, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. The story traces Roosevelt's early life.

The two part, four hour, History Channel event 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 the Italian-British series Medici: Masters of Florence with Frank Spotnitz for Italian TV channel Rai 1, and wrote the first two episodes of season one.

Star TrekEdit

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 great financial success, and they wanted a sequel. Bennett, a reliable television producer, was hired to help.

Introduced to Bennett by Paramount executive Karen Moore, Meyer was hired as a potential director for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan despite never having seen the first film.[8]:96 Due to problems with the early drafts of the script, which most readers disliked, Meyer quickly 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 Star Trek's actors and producers by delivering a superior draft of the script in only twelve days. The draft had to be completed 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. As a result, he is uncredited as a writer on the final film.

In his direction, Meyer made stylistic alterations, such as adding more of a naval appearance. Meyer and Bennett together created a film that was engaging while also reducing costs and avoiding the production fiascoes of the first Star Trek film. The Wrath of Khan became a financial success, grossing $78 million in the domestic market, and is considered by many to be the best Star Trek film to date.[9]

Although he "refuse[d] to specialize" and so vowed to not work on another Star Trek project,[10] Meyer co-wrote the screenplay for the fourth Star Trek film, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home with Bennett. For that film, Bennett wrote the first and third acts, which occur in the 23rd century, and Meyer wrote the second act, which occurs in 1986 San Francisco. Meyer has said that one of the most enjoyable aspects of working on this film was getting the chance to re-use elements which he had been forced to discard from his earlier film, Time After Time. Star Trek IV proved to be successful financially,[11] notable for succeeding with general moviegoers as well as science fiction and Star Trek devotees.

Meyer worked for the Star Trek franchise again for the sixth film in the series, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). He developed the story with Leonard Nimoy and co-wrote the screenplay with long-time friend and assistant Denny Flinn. He directed the picture, which was the final film to feature the entire classic Star Trek cast. Like its predecessors, this film was successful financially, grossing $74 million in the domestic market.[12] Many of Meyer's personal papers from his involvement with the Star Trek franchise are housed at the University of Iowa Libraries.[13]

In February 2016 it was announced that Meyer would be returning to Star Trek by joining the writing team for CBS's new TV series Star Trek: Discovery.[14] In November 2018, Meyer announced in an online interview that he was not invited back for Discovery's second season. He also disclosed that he could not identify his precise contributions, as television is such a collaborative medium.[15] [16]


Year Title Job Notes
1973 Invasion of the Bee Girls Writer
1974 Judge Dee and the Monastery Murders Writer (screenplay) TV film
1975 The Night That Panicked America Writer (screenplay) TV film
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special
1976 The Seven-Per-Cent Solution Writer (novel/screenplay) Nominated — Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated — WGA Award for Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium
1979 Time After Time Director/Writer (screenplay) Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival Antenne II Award
Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival Grand Prize
Saturn Award for Best Writing
Nominated — Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay
Nominated — Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Direction
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film
1982 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Director/Writer (screenplay – uncredited) Saturn Award for Best Direction
Nominated — Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film
1983 The Day After Director TV film
Golden Screen Award
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in a Limited Series or a Special
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special
1985 Faerie Tale Theatre Director/Writer (screenplay) TV series, episode "The Pied Piper of Hamelin"
Volunteers Director
1986 Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home Writer (screenplay) Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Writing
1987 Fatal Attraction[5] Writer (uncredited)
1988 The Deceivers Director
1991 Company Business Director/Writer
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Director/Writer (screenplay) Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film
Nominated — Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Writing
1993 Sommersby Writer Spur Award for Best Motion Picture Script
1995 Voices Writer
1997 The Informant Writer (screenplay)/Executive Producer TV film
Won — PEN Center USA West Literary Awards for Best Teleplay
The Odyssey Executive Producer TV miniseries
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries
Tomorrow Never Dies Writer (screenplay — uncredited)[7]
1998 The Prince of Egypt Writer (additional screenplay material alongside Phillip LaZebnik, based on the Book of Exodus)
1999 Vendetta Director TV film
2002 Fall from the Sky Writer TV film
Collateral Damage Executive Producer
2003 The Human Stain Writer (screenplay)
2006 Orpheus Writer/Executive Producer TV film
2008 Elegy Writer (screenplay) Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
2009 The Hessen Affair Writer
2014 Houdini Writer TV miniseries
2016 Medici: Masters of Florence Writer/Co-creator TV series (1 episode, with Frank Spotnitz)
2017 Star Trek: Discovery Writer, consulting producer TV series; 1 episode only as writer
2017 On Cinema at the Cinema Himself (cameo/actor) Webseries; 1 episode only as actor


Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ "Celebrity Jews". Celebrity Jews- Einstein the jokester. October 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Nicholas Meyer Biography (1945-)". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Time After Time". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  4. ^ Meyer, Nicholas (2009). The View From the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood. NY: Viking. pp. 72–73. ISBN 978-0-670-02130-7.
  5. ^ a b Meyer, Nicholas (2009). The View from the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood. Penguin Books. ISBN 9781101133477.
  6. ^ "Bibliography of Meyer, Nicholas, alphabetically ordered". Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ a b Rex Weiner and Adam Dawtrey. "Latest Bond Production Shaken, Stirred". Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help) Online copy of news article originally published in Variety (8–15 December 1996).
  8. ^ Dillard, J.M. (1994). Star Trek: "Where No Man Has Gone Before" — A History in Pictures. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-51149-1.
  9. ^ "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  10. ^ Anderson, Nancy (1982-07-04). "Trekkies wrath worse than Khan's". Newburgh Evening News. Copley News Service. pp. 14E. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  11. ^ "Star Trek Movies at the Box Office - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) - Box office / business". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Papers of Nicholas Meyer - The University of Iowa Libraries". Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  14. ^ "'Star Trek': Nicholas Meyer Joins CBS Series as Writer-Producer - Hollywood Reporter". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  15. ^ "Nicholas Meyer talks Star Trek Discovery, Khan Spin-off series and more (Exclusive Interview)". Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  16. ^ "'Star Trek: Discovery': Nicholas Meyer Not Invited Back for Season 2". Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  17. ^ Adult New York Times Best Seller Lists for 1974. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  18. ^ Adult New York Times Best Seller Lists for 1975. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  19. ^ Adult New York Times Best Seller Lists for 1976. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  20. ^ Ross, Brad S. (June 20, 2018). "Interview with Nicholas Meyer". ArtsComment. Retrieved February 1, 2018.

External linksEdit