When J.J. Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness was released in May of 2013, fans felt a little hurt by the fact that he straight up lied about the fact that Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) would not be in the movie. From the director's point of view, however, you can't really blame him. What filmmaker wants the biggest secrets of their movie revealed months before release?
Beyond that, some were peeved that the sequel was just a slightly altered rehash of 1982's Wrath of Khan, which starred Ricardo Montalbán in the iconic role of the genetically-engineered villain, Khan Noonien Singh. As it turns out, Wrath director Nicholas Meyer wasn't all that impressed by Into Darkness, either.
"It is, on the one hand, nice to be so successful or beloved or however you want to describe it, that somebody wants to do an homage to what you did, and I was flattered and touched,” Meyer said during an interview with Midnight's Edge. "But in my sort of artistic worldview, if you’re going to do an homage, you have to add something. You have to put another layer on it, and they didn’t. Just by putting the same words in different characters’ mouths didn’t add up to anything, and if you have someone dying in one scene and sort of being resurrected immediately after, there’s no real drama going on. It just becomes a gimmick or gimmicky, and that’s what I found it to be, ultimately. This is just one person’s opinion, mine … but I found it more clever than satisfying."
In The Wrath of Kahn, Spock (Leonard Nimoy) dies after exposure to high levels of radiation from the Enterprise's warp drive. His body is then shot into space, but he returns in the 1984 sequel, The Search for Spock. When it comes to Into Darkness, the alternate timeline finds Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) dying instead of Spock, but he's immediately brought back to life via the use of Khan's "super blood" by the end of the movie.
When asked in 2017 by SYFY WIRE how he felt about Into Darkness and its re-working of Wrath's ending, Meyer said, "To be totally honest, I didn’t understand it."
Back in May, news broke that Meyer was working on a brand-new Star Trek trilogy, Ceti Alpha 5, for CBS, but that it was most likely on indefinite hold since the network was entrenched in a legal battle with Viacom. He addressed this during the Midnight's Edge interview, saying:
"There were big upheavals at CBS and while they sort of didn’t know who was in charge, they also didn't know what they were gonna do with Ceti Alpha 5. I’m not exactly sure what’s happened, I haven’t heard from them in some time. It’s very good. It’s a terrific trilogy. I think one of the things that happened is they’re not sure that a trilogy is long enough to warrant the cost of doing it. Maybe it should be something longer, or … I don’t know the details of their thinking, because I haven’t heard [from] them."