Forty-five years ago today, "2001: A Space Odyssey," Stanley Kubrick's classic science-fiction movie, premiered at the Uptown Theater in Washington D.C. While neither commercially or critically successful to begin with (the legendary Pauline Kael called it a "monumentally unimaginative movie"), it soon took off with audiences, in part thanks to its psychedelic closing sequence, and is now rightfully regarded as perhaps the greatest, and most prophetic science-fiction movie ever made.
To mark the occasion, below you'll find five key bits of info that you may not have been previously aware of about Kubrick's masterpiece. The film is currently available on DVD & Blu-Ray, and can be seen on Netflix: what better day than today to watch it?
1. The Film Was Originally Called "Journey Beyond The Stars"
While it was based principally on author Arthur C. Clarke's short story "The Sentinel," the book "2001: A Space Odyssey" was actually written by Clarke at the same time as he wrote the screenplay with Kubrick. The duo originally referred to it as "How The Solar System Was Won," and it was initally announced under the name "Journey Beyond The Stars." Clarke wrote in his behind-the-scenes book "The Lost Worlds Of 2001" that they also considered "Universe," "Tunnel To The Stars" and "Planetfall" before landing on the eventual winner.
2. Kubrick Delivered The Film Sixteen Months Over Schedule, Having Nearly Doubled The Budget
Kubrick's last film, "Eyes Wide Shut," was a famously endless shoot, but this was not exactly something new. The famous perfectionist often went massively over budget and schedule, and particularly so on "2001: A Space Odyssey:" he went over the $6 million budget by $4.5 million (roughly equivalent to $25 million today), and arrived sixteen months late. Which should be a comfort to Andrew Stanton, if nothing else.