Not everyone was a fan of J.J. Abram’s Kelvin Timeline movies, and you can count Star Trek: II The Wrath of Khan director, Nicholas Meyer, as one of them.
If there was any way to describe the remake of Star Trek movies undertaken by J.J. Abrams, one wouldn’t think it would be “dopey,” but that is exactly what Nicholas Meyer thinks of the purpose of the movies. Actually, the director admitted in “The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years: From The Next Generation to J. J. Abrams: The Complete, Uncensored, and Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek” by Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross,” [via Screenrant] that, to him, those Trek movies didn’t have anything to do with what made Star Trek compelling.
Meyer was especially outspoken about Khan. Originally portrayed by Ricardo Montalban on Star Trek: The Original Series and in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Benedict Cumberbatch took on the role in Star Trek Into Darkness. Meyer said he loves Cumberbatch and Sherlock, but he doesn’t understand how anyone else can be Khan except for Montalban.
Nicholas Meyer says the Star Trek movies just didn’t track for him.
"“I didn’t understand it, and I also sort of don’t understand what those movies are about. I understand what Star Trek II is about; it’s about friendship, old age; it’s about death. I understand what IV is about; it’s an ecological, cautionary tale. And I understand what VI is about. But other than doing all the things that people expect in a Star Trek movie, I didn’t understand what those movies are about. I think the difference between an homage and a rip-off is that in an homage you’re supposed to add something. They should try to do something else besides trying to do Star Trek II.”"
A lot of Star Trek fans feel the same way. They didn’t understand the point of reinventing Star Trek: The Original Series. So far, no one has done that for Star Trek: The Next Generation or any of the other series. So why that one in particular? Yes, the movies were successful, but they deviated from canon to the point where they’re not considered part of the original timeline.
While certainly some viewers didn’t have a problem with it, many did and still do. There’s no denying the movies were exciting, but they could have been just as exciting had Abrams used a new crew for a Star Trek adventure. And he certainly didn’t need to recreate the essence of a TOS episode “Space Seed.” Yes, it was vastly different from the actual episode, but it brought back a character that had already been killed in The Wrath of Khan, much to the satisfaction of the fans. To many, an original villain would have been a better choice. And to still many more, an original crew would have been even better.