^Yes, there was the appearance
of interaction between the characters, but it was created in the editing bay and the special-effects lab from entirely separate performances filmed weeks apart. Again, I'm talking about the craft of acting, not the structure of the story. When two actors are able to play off of each other, to have a real conversation and play off of each other's delivery and emotion, there's an added energy and vitality to the performance. They can bring things out in each other that wouldn't be there if they do their scenes separately while some off-camera assistant just feeds lines to them. It makes their performances better, richer, more interesting to watch. (Or listen to. Animation voice director Andrea Romano, famous for her work on productions like Batman: The Animated Series
and Avatar: The Last Airbender
, prefers to have her actors together in the studio and playing off one another whenever possible, rather than recording their lines separately as has long been the norm in animation, because of the richer and more dynamic performances it generates. Comedies like Futurama
and The Simpsons
also generally try to get the cast to record together because the performances are funnier when they can play off one another.) So as a rule, it's better from a performance standpoint to have the actors together. I'm not interested in arguing whether the story needed them to meet. I'm saying that both Shatner and Montalban could've given us better-acted, more interesting performances
if they had been able to meet. Their performances in the movie we got certainly weren't bad (although Meyer pushed them way too far toward melodrama at times), but what I'm trying to convey here is that they could've been better
if the actors could've played off each other directly.
It turns out that the reason the film was structured the way it was, without Kirk and Khan meeting, was because Montalban had to film his scenes weeks before the main cast came in to film theirs, in order to accommodate his shooting schedule as the star ofFantasy Island
. So it wasn't something that was done because it was the best way to tell the story; it was something the filmmakers were forced to do for entirely external reasons. It's very possible that they wanted Kirk and Khan to meet face-to-face but had to settle for keeping them apart. In early drafts, there was a final confrontation between Kirk, Khan, and David.