Details of the 'lost' prologue to Kubrick's sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey

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Dec 17, 2014, 12:44 PM EST (Updated)

Stanley Kubrick’s iconic 1968 sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey is a beast at well over two hours, but it’d have been a lot longer if the famed director had gone with his original plan.

Many consider the film to be Kubrick’s magnum opus, looking at the fate of humanity in what is arguably the greatest genre film of all time, and he wanted to include some input from real-life scientists in a prologue that eventually landed on the cutting-room floor.

A piece at The Guardian tied to the film’s theatrical re-release in the U.K. (yeah, we fans in the States are still jealous) digs into the intro we never got to see — footage that is apparently now lost to the ages. The shots featured astronomer Bernard Lovell and 20 other scientists essentially having a roundtable discussion about “aliens, evolution and space travel.”

Though the footage is kaput, the transcript of the prologue has survived and is actually collected in a book of interviews released a while back. It’s fascinating to think how this would’ve changed the flow of the film, though it would’ve been extremely cool to have some of the best minds of the era chatting about the subject at hand to kick things off.

Not a lot of big-budget features could pull off an intro of scientific deep talk, but Kubrick’s 2001 isn’t your regular film — and this could’ve been extremely cool (while also potentially pushing this thing to around three hours). 

Do you think this would’ve been a good way to start the film?

(Via The Guardian)