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