Most fans would agree that Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy are the triumvirate of heroes at the heart of classic Star Trek, and that includes Karl Urban, the actor who plays McCoy in the modern film series.
Handling such a beloved relationship could be intimidating for a newcomer. Such was the position director Nicholas Meyer was put in when he directed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. However, 35 years later, Meyer thinks of it rather simply.
"I think that the troika of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy had been identified pretty much by [executive producer Harve Bennett] and their characters were fairly established – and this is painting with a broad brush – but McCoy was the bleeding heart liberal and Spock was the logician, perhaps to the point of being somewhere on the spectrum, and Kirk was the mediator between the two of them," Meyer told Trek Movie. "In that sense, they were all very easy to write for. I simply put my own stamp on the dialog, or at least I like to think I did. Spock definitely was reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes in my way of thinking and in fact in Star Trek VI I had him claim descent from Holmes.
Following the disappointing box office performance of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was removed as executive producer on the sequel, a move Roddenberry was not pleased with, and that put more creative control in Meyer's hand. The result was a film with a lower budget that more closely resembled The Original Series, which excited fans.
Roddenberry wasn't the only one with some concerns about the direction of Star Trek II. Star William Shatner wasn't entirely on board with the idea of borrowing elements from a classic episode at first, in this case having Ricardo Montalbán return as original series villain Khan, but he was won over by the end.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan returns to theaters on September 10th and September 13th to celebrate its 35th anniversary. The film will be accompanied by a new interview with Shatner looking back on the best-loved entry in the Star Trek film series.