Before there was The Martian, before there was there was Alien and even before there was Star Wars, there was 2001: A Space Odyssey – a film that perfectly depicted space’s beauty and terror. The Stanley Kubrick film, which cost about $12 million to make and earned more than $190 million worldwide, became the pinnacle of science fiction on the big screen and this week it celebrates its 50th anniversary. To celebrate, the folks at Warner Bros. will be stripping the film down and re-releasing it in theaters.
On May 18, select theaters will be offering, for the first time since its original release, a 70mm print of 2001: A Space Odyssey that was “struck from new printing elements made from the original camera negative.” That means it’ll be a pure recreation of the film, with no digital tracks, no remastered effects and no edits – the closest way possible to Kubrick’s original vision five decades prior.
The new 70mm print will officially make its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in France during the second week of May and will feature an introduction from director – and noted Kubrick mega-fan – Christopher Nolan, who admitted that seeing the film at the Leicester Square Theatre in London with his father was one of his earliest memories and that this opportunity to share the unrestored 70mm version of the classic sci-fi film with a new generation is both an honor and a privilege. Even Kubrick’s wife, Christiane, has given her blessing on Nolan’s help in honoring the original film, according to The Wrap.
“I’m delighted that 2001: A Space Odyssey will be reissued in 70mm, and that Cannes has chosen to honor it. If Stanley were alive today, we know he would be in admiration of the films of Christopher Nolan. And so, on behalf of Stanley’s family, I would personally like to thank Christopher for supporting his film,” said Christiane Kubrick.
While Kubrick passed away in 1999, at the age of 70 from a massive heart attack, he left behind several classic films, such as 1987’s Full Metal Jacket, 1971’s A Clockwork Orange and 1960’s Spartacus, but he will forever be known for his trail blazingly unique vision of space exploration. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, here’s the trailer to help explain a little about one of film’s most classic efforts:
If you still haven’t seen it, we highly recommend you do – there’s a reason it’s often the topic of conversation at film schools across not just the United States but, also, the world.