Therin of Andor wrote:
Nicholas Meyer hand picked the footage that went into the ABC-TV cut in 1985. I remember reading an article at the time where he commented that he "got to revisit some of the battles he had lost with the studio"
He even picked the alternate turbo-lift Kirk/Saavik version because he thought it played better in the 4x3 format.
Okay, but I was sure I read an old "Starlog" of the day where it was said he was uninvolved.
The article you linked to says his quote was in "Cinefantastique" in 1992.
You guys are talking at cross purposes. Meyer in CFQ was discussing what he did for the ABC cut, which is what decades later was repurposed into the alleged director's cut dvd. Neither the ABC nor DVD are the DC, which hasn't been seen since before TWOK debuted in June 82.
In 1982 Meyer turned in his cut.
It was about 119 minutes.
It included the alternate version of the the Kirk/David fight and a few scenes after that, that were follow-ups to that.
The studio hated that version of the fight/father-son revelation and made him reshoot it to what we we have now.
He then turned in a 115/116 cut
The studio then asked him to trim a few more minutes.
He then reluctantly cut the 3 1/2 minutes we now have seen in the 'Director's cut' 2-disc DVD.
They previewed the movie in Kansas city in early May 1982 and Bennett reports the audience loved the movie until Spock's death.
Then without Meyer's involvement they shot the coffin on Genesis scene.
When ABC went to do their TV premiere in 1985 they somehow got hooked up with Meyer and in the interview i read, in a genre magazine at the time, the ABC guy noted how Meyer all the bits they needed ready to go and was surprised at that.
Meyer had simply set aside the 3 minutes of so from his 116 minute cut and re-inserted them. Voila--his 'director's cut'---which was his preferred cut AFTER they made him reshoot the Kirk/David fight and BEFORE they added the Spock coffin on Genesis.
That's what Meyer is referring to in the '1992' article/interview (actually the December 1991 issue of Cinafantastique.)
He was commenting on after all the debate about the exact cut in 1982---nobody cared in 1985 what he added back in.
There NEVER was a '16 minute longer' original director's cut that an earlier poster referred to.
In reality, the movie was incredibly time crunched--principal photagraphy was finishing in early Feb 1982 for a June 4 wide release!!
Meyer wanted James Horner to score the movie but had no real cut to show him.
He then gave Horner a 127 minute 'rough assembly' of the movie to use as a reference.
That included virtually everything that they had shot-- strung together with no taking into account of pace or continuity or flow.
It was simply a reference for Horner to see to get ideas for all the major themes/beats of the film.
That may be the '127 (or 129) minute cut that some people think was out there. It was never intended as a real cut of any sort.
Last summer at the UCLA film school I watched a B/W 'workprint' of the movie that was fairly close to that 127 minute cut.
It begins at the simulator scene and ends at the point where spock leaves his chair to repair the main engines. It ends there presumably because back in 1982 they didn't want whoever was getting the workprint to know the ending. It contains virtually every thing in the script of the movie that I have owned since the mid 80s and that is available to read on the internet at many sites.
It has the Saavik romulan heritage mention in the corridor, an even longer scene concerning the glasses, Chekov's original log entry as 'duty officer', CHEKOV SEEING THE CHILD IN THE WINDOW OF THE CARGO CARRIER EXACTLY AS SCRIPTED!!!, Terrell finding the baby inside the cargo carrier, Khan mentioning Marla by name in his tirade, Kyle and Beach about to launch a rescue until Terrell (controlled) tricks them into beaming 'guests' aboard, SULU's promotion, the first version of the Kirk/David fight and all the follow up references and dozens of other bits.
Let me say this version is not a proper version of the movie, it has plenty of needless stuff and the flow is very slow even for a 1982 movie. Meyer would never have wanted the movie released ion that way.
Of course there are several small bits i wish they had left in, but overall most of the cuts were well-chosen.
So in closing to this over-long post...........
Meyer's true 'director's cut' would in reality have been with the original version of the Kirk/David fight/revelation and without the Spock coffin on genesis.
The director's cut on DVD is the closest we'll likely ever get to his preferred version.