Last week, many sites carried that story that FX maestro Douglas Trumball mentioned that the 17 minutes Stanley Kubrick cut from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY after it’s 1968 release had been verified as being intact and in good condition in a salt mine storage facility.
(This is a common practice for film storage, as the cool, dry, and stable condition are ideal for the purpose.)
Though the existence of these scenes have been known for several years (as I recall) and no real surprise, it did lead to some speculation about a 2001 special edition of some sort. Yesterday, Warner Brothers —which now controls the film righst to 2001 and many other MGM productions— made the following statement.
“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.”
Kudos to them for keeping it that way. While I’d have no objection to the footage becoming available to view in a documentary, or perhaps as a bonus feature, it would seem a rather disrespectful to go against the director’s strongly expressed wishes.
Sadly, it seems that Douglass Trumbull’s and David Larson’s documentary, 2001: BEYOND THE INFINITE The Making of a Masterpiece, has been canceled. They still plan to publish a book which will feature rare phototgraphs from the film, along with unused production sketches, etc.
(Warner Home Video quote via Slashfim)