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Terry Gilliam Says Stanley Kubrick Wanted Him To Make A Sequel To 'Dr. Strangelove'

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist October 16, 2013 at 10:21AM

When you think about Stanley Kubrick's output, you don't really think about sequels. The celebrated auteur was not one to return to his previous work, and the lone sequel that did come from one of his movies, Peter Hyams' "2010: The Year We Made Contact," was so different in tone and spirit from "2001: A Space Odyssey" that it might as well just have been some other random science fiction movie (Kubrick was obviously uninvolved). But new comments made by "12 Monkeys" director Terry Gilliam suggest that before his death Kubrick was not only plotting a sequel, but had intended Gilliam to direct: a follow-up to his black comedy "Dr. Strangelove" entitled "Son of Strangelove."
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Dr. Strangelove

When you think about Stanley Kubrick's output, you don't really think about sequels. The celebrated auteur was not one to return to his previous work, and the lone sequel that did come from one of his movies, Peter Hyams' "2010: The Year We Made Contact," was so different in tone and spirit from "2001: A Space Odyssey" that it might as well just have been some other random science fiction movie (Kubrick was obviously uninvolved). But new comments made by "12 Monkeys" director Terry Gilliam suggest that before his death Kubrick was not only plotting a sequel, but had intended Gilliam to direct: a follow-up to his black comedy "Dr. Strangelove" entitled "Son of Strangelove."

According to Gilliam, in an interview with Twitch, "I was told after Kubrick died—by someone who had been dealing with him—that he had been interested in trying to do another 'Strangelove' with me directing. I never knew about that until after he died but I would have loved to."

Indeed, before Kubrick's death in 1999, something had been going on with a proposed "Dr. Strangelove" sequel. The sequel was being written, once again, by "Easy Rider" screenwriter Terry Southern, who died in 1995. Amongst his things were a collection of detailed note cards relating to the project (these cards laid out the fundamental structure and story beats for the sequel). Supposedly the sequel found Dr. Strangelove taking refuge in an underground bunker following the nuclear fallout at the end of the first film. Brilliantly, the bunker would have been almost entirely populated by women. Hello!

Some of Gilliam's best work is often described as being "Kubrickian," particularly his dystopian satire "Brazil," so it would have been interesting to see what the filmmaker would have done with an active Kubrick collaboration. Maybe a sequel-to-Stanley-Kubrick-movies phase can still kick off, and we can finally get such long-awaited follow-ups like "Eyes Wide Shut 2: The Island Of Lost Dreams" and "Clockwork Orange Into Darkness!" Or maybe not.

This article is related to: Terry Gilliam, Stanley Kubrick, Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb


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