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'2001: A Space Odyssey': 5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Film

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist April 2, 2012 at 11:38AM

Forty-four 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"), but 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.

3. Seventeen Minutes Of Footage Cut At The Last Minute Was Recently Rediscovered
Given how much footage was shot (as much as two hundred times the length of the final cut), it's unsurprising that enormous amounts were left on the cutting room floor, but it's unlikely ever to surface: Kubrick always burnt his negatives after a film was finished. But the director did cut nineteen minutes after release, seventeen minutes of which were rediscovered in 2010 in a vault in a Kansas salt mine. It's yet to see the public light of day, but surely something is planned soon.

4. Jack Kirby Wrote A Marvel Comic Based On The Move, That Spun Off Into A Superhero Series
Even aside from Peter Hyams' lesser 1984 sequel "2010: The Year We Make Contact," the tale's gone on to have life elsewhere. Clarke wrote two more novels, "2061: Odyssey Three" in 1987 and 1997's "3001: The Final Odyssey" (Tom Hanks reportedly picked up the rights to the latter with the idea that he might direct it). Perhaps most curiously, a decade after the film was released, Marvel produced a ten-issue series by comics legend Jack Kirby that expanded on the film. The series saw the first appearance of Kirby's robot superhero character "Machine Man," who would later go on to become a stalwart part of the Marvel universe.
5. HAL 9000 Actor Douglas Rain Reprised His Role...In Woody Allen's 'Sleeper'
The film's been much parodied over the years, by everyone from Mel Brooks to "The Simpsons," but few went to the same lengths as Woody Allen. When he made his science-fiction comedy "Sleeper," the writer-director-star wrote an evil computer into the climax of the film, and got none another than Canadian stage veteran Douglas Rain, who lent his voice to HAL 9000 in "2001," to voice it in an uncredited cameo. Watch Woody Allen talk about his first impressions and growing to love Kubrick's movie below.

This article is related to: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick

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