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17 minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey found in pristine condition?

12.20.2010

UPDATE - Warner Bros. has released a statement on the "found footage" from 2001: "The additional footage from 2001: A Space Odyssey has always existed in the Warner vaults. When Kubrick trimmed the 17 minutes from 2001 after the NY premiere, he made it clear the shortened version was his final edit. The film is as he wanted it to be presented and preserved and Warner Home Video has no plans to expand or revise Mr. Kubrick's vision."

Douglas Trumbull, Special Effects Supervisor on 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, recently revealed that Warner Bros. unearthed 17-minutes of footage Stanley Kubrick cut from the film prior to the release. Cause I was just thinking how 2001 should be a little longer!

As the legend goes, after the premiere of 2001 in 1968, Kubrick felt there were some pacing issues with the film and before it went to audiences around the world, he took the film back in the editing room and spliced between 17-19 minutes. According to those who have seen the original, shots included Dave searching for a replacement antenna part, HAL severing communication between the "Discovery" and Frank Poole's pod and a longer "Dawn of Man" sequence.

While that footage seemed "lost," Warner Bros. has reportedly found a "pristine" copy of these missing scenes. Of course the big question is what Warner Bros. plans to do with the footage. I think editing it back into the film is a big mistake and would surely be something that Kubrick would protest (as would, I'm sure, his estate). I think it's historically relevant and should be made public in some way, shape or form, but perhaps as extras on a new special edition Blu-ray. Or let Trumbull finish his documentary "2001: Beyond the Infinite" and include some of those shots in his film.

What do you think? Would you like to see the original "Premiere Cut" of 2001 or are you happy with the version that Kubrick blessed for theaters? How do you think WB should present this footage to the public or should they present it at all?

Source: The Film Stage

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