• MailChimp Widget


Lost footage from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY found; HAL is still a prick

GATW Guest Writer

by: GATW Guest Writer
December 17th, 2010

Movies have their own equivalent to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Some would say it is the missing footage of Orson Welles' THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS. Some believed it was the found footage of Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS. Yet, others may argue that it was found just recently in the form of 17 minutes of lost footage from Stanley Kubrick's 1968 sci-fi classic, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY.

Danny Trumbull, who did visual effects for the film, announced at a special screening of 2001 in Toronto that the footage had recently been found in pristine "perfectly preserved" condition, though he was not sure what the studio planned to do with it. It was apropos to Kubrick's film style that the footage would be dug up in the cinematic and nonsensical location of a Kansas salt mine. The original running time of 2001 is 160 minutes, 19 minutes more than the film is today. It is presumed that those original 19 minutes are what were found in Kansas. Kubrick originally axed those scenes due to pacing problems.

Wikipedia has a segment on the deleted scenes. It reads:

“Kubrick filmed several scenes that were deleted from the final film. These include a schoolroom on the moon base—a painting class that included Kubrick’s daughters, additional scenes of life on the base, Floyd buying a bush baby from a department store via videophone for his daughter, details about the daily life on Discovery, additional space walks, astronaut Bowman retrieving a spare part from an octagonal corridor, a number of cuts from the Poole murder sequence including the entire space walk preparation and shots of HAL turning off radio contact with Poole—explaining the non sequitur of HAL’s response to Bowman’s question, and notably a close-up shot of Bowman picking up a slipper during his walk in the alien room—the slipper can still be seen behind him in what was then the next shot. The most notable cut was a 10-minute black-and-white opening sequence featuring interviews with actual scientists, including Freeman Dyson, discussing extraterrestrial life, which Kubrick removed after an early screening for MGM executives. The actual text survives in the book The Making of Kubrick’s 2001 by Jerome Agel. If the music intro and outro are included, 29 minutes of film have been excised from the theatrical version.”

Will this footage ever see the light of day? I am hopeful but not optimistic. Kubrick cut the footage out for a reason, claiming that it was unnecessary and would bore audiences. When you consider the fact that the film is already out on Blu-ray, it raise the question of whether Warner Brothers see a new market they can appeal to with the 17 extra minutes? If they do, I am definitely included in it. There are those of us who have seen 2001 so many times, that we long for anything new. With a deceased Kubrick and the film being 42 years old, that did not look possible. Now there is a glimmer of hope if Warner Bros. should choose to appease the die-hards.

Source The Wrap

Commenting Rules: Comments are intended to open up the discussion to our readers about the topics at hand, and as such should be offered with a positive and constructive attitude. If your comment is not relative to the above post or is disrespectful to the authors and readers, we reserve the right to delete it. Continued abuse of our good nature will result in banishment of the offender. Additionally, if you have any burning issues to point out to the GATW crew - typos, corrections, suggestions, or straight-up criticism - please email us instead of commenting here.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Lost footage from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY found; HAL is still a prick » GordonandtheWhale.com -- Topsy.com

  • KenSirhan2

    Certain parts of these cut minutes I’m interested in seeing restored, but a lot I am not – the schoolroom/painting class, Floyd buying a bush baby ["Oh really, boy!"], additional space walks [we have quite enough already of all that breathing], Bowman retrieving a spare part, the closeup of Bowman picking up a slipper during his walk in the alien room and especially that bore-making

    10-minute black-and-white opening sequence of Real Scientists babbling on about nonexistent ETs. No

    wonder old dude put the Marie Antoinette to that! It would have completely wrecked the atmospherics

    for such a reality uncheck to precede the proceedings. All of the above will do quite nicely in some

    Deleted Scenes section for those desperate enough for entertainment; just reading the descriptions is

    wearing enough without having to sit through/FF past them – although I certainly would reedit that stuff

    back out on a burn project. Just like when Too bad so sad for that studio having already put the movie

    on BD; hopefully the diehard devotees will force them to do a rerelease – plus, I’m sure the smell of

    potential profits will lure them in.

  • Recent Post