COOL STUFF

17 Minutes of Lost Footage from '2001: A Space Odyssey' Found!

by
December 17, 2010
Source: The Film Stage

2001: A Space Odyssey

Back in September, our Indie Trailer Sunday feature called attention to Beyond the Infinite: The Making of a Masterpiece, a documentary on Stanley Kubrick's classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the hands of Douglas Trumball, effects supervisor on the iconic film, and David Larson, the doc was exploring "not just the technical story but the human story, the personal story, the experiences of people who interacted with Kubrick that is really true to the style and look of 2001: A Space Odyssey." But while the doc has since been canceled, the two learned Warner Bros has discovered 17-minutes of cut footage that was presumed lost.

In a long chain of discovery, The Film Stage learned this info from Blastr, who translated an article from Forgotten Silver reporting on the documentary duo whilst speaking at a special screening of a 70mm print of 2001: A Space Odyssey (did you get all that?). In addition, they've hypothesized that much of the footage is what ended up on the cutting room floor after the initial 160-minute running time from the 1968 premiere was reduced by 19-minutes later on. IMDb says some of the cut footage includes "a scene where HAL severs radio communication between the Discovery and Poole's pod before killing him," plus "an entire sequence of several shots in which Dave Bowman searches for the replacement antenna part in storage was removed."

However, just because this footage has been unearthed, doesn't mean it will ever be available to the general public. Still it's interesting to learn that this footage that was presumed lost forever has now been discovered still "perfectly preserved." In Toronto, Trumball and Larson showed images from the never-before-seen footage which will apparently be included in a behind-the-scenes photo book that is being put together in place of the halted production. We're not yet sure when the book will be released (but we already want one).

This discovery is most certainly exciting, but it also raises some concerns with using the new footage. For example, would this footage be used by Warner Bros to craft an extended cut of 2001: A Space Odyssey for yet another dip into the home video market? And if this footage was cut from the film (apparently because Kubrick thought the various scenes created pacing issues), is this going to be quality footage that will excite fans, or just another weak DVD supplement-style collection of footage best left on Kubrick's cutting-room floor. Surely plenty of hardcore Kubrick fans would love to check out these lost deleted scenes, but I'm also willing to bet many of them find the sci-fi masterpiece perfect in its current form. What do you think?

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  • lego
    special edition blu-ray, coming soon to a store near you. thanks, i believe i shall.
  • CK
    "While the doc has sadly since been cancelled" What? What?! WHAT?!
  • dRailer
    Sadly the missing footage is just a bone spinning in free-fall for 17 minutes. ;-O
  • Elijah
    Maybe in that 17 minutes explain what the **** happened in the end! Is a joke, but lets be honest, everybody says WTF at the end of the movie, unless you read the book. the good thing about that ending, its that the movie begins after you watched.
  • Dan W
    I'm upset about the cancellation of the documentary. That would have been really amazing to say the least. As far as the found footage I'm not sure if I'd want to see it or not. It could ruin parts of the movie that are left to speculation. Or it could enhance the way the audience feels about HAL during the movie. I feel that the more we see HAL messing with the crew the less of an impact his change from computer to monster would seem.
  • Lando
    I hope they eventually release the doc! as for the lost footage, Id love to see it, just to see something stanley shot or thought of at some point, but otherwise, who cares? if he cut it then he really didnt want us to see it in the first place so i wont be too upset. it still remains perfect as it is. I only wish they would play it on the big screen again!!!!
  • norm
    Yeah hah? Ethan Anderthon kind of drops that "canceled" bomb and runs - wtf?
  • If the footage they found was 70mm, then they can have a special 45th anniversary extended IMAX presentation. Come on, it would be awesome to see that monkey smash the skull on an IMAX screen.
  • intermission
    It's almost a guarantee this will appear in either the extras or be part of an extended cut on the Blu-ray now that it's been made public.
  • Laet Oliveira
    I simply WANT to see whatever they find/have found that was produced by the great master. I was 18 when I first watched it and, over 4 decades later, every time I see it again there's something new to be found. And enjoyed. And to make you ponder. And a zillion other reasons. If they don't release those 17 minutes, I'll make them an offer they can't refuse... (chuckle)
  • Sideeffects
    Correction:  It's "Trumbull" not "Trumball"

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