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film news

17 minutes of lost 2001: A Space Odyssey footage found

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Friday, December 17, 2010

Last week special effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull gave a talk before a movie audience in Toronto. The visual effects legendary was in Canada to present a 70mm print of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick's giant, seminal film from the science fiction genre. Trumbull helped create the realistic effects for 2001, giving the film a sense of realism that added to Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke's stellar screenplay.

During the discussion it was revealed that Warner Bros. had pulled the plug on a new documentary that Trumbull and David Larson were working on: 2001: Behind the Infinite - The Making of a Masterpiece. While plans for the film have ended, the duo are putting together a book featuring Trumbull's recollections of working on the movie, plus a number of behind-the-scenes photos.

But the biggest news to emerge from the night's screening was word that 17 minutes of 2001 had been found by Warner Bros., stored and forgotten in a salt mine for the last four decades.

When 2001: A Space Odyssey came out in 1968, the first screenings of the film contained these additional minutes. Some of the material believed to be in the missing footage include additional scenes from the Dawn of Man opening sequence; more footage of the Jupiter Expedition astronauts onboard the Discovery; a scene showing HAL breaking off contact with Earth before the computer alerts the crew that the AE-35 antenna has "malfunctioned"; and more footage of Frank Poole outside Discovery trying to fix the damaged antenna.

For film aficiandos and fans of 2001 and Kubrick, this announcement is a huge unexpected treat. But when will we get to see this newly recovered footage? Will the studio one day announce a new release, perhaps in 2018 when 2001 has its 50th anniversary? Will some of the shots turn up in Turnbull and Larson's forthcoming 2001 book? And what, if anything, will Kubrick's estate have to say about including the footage in a new cut of the movie?

-Eagle Transporter forum.

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