2001: A Space Odyssey marks 50th Anniversary

Keir Dullea in 2001: A Space Odyssey (MGM).

For the first time in history, Stanley Kubrick’s groundbreaking epic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, is available for audiences to bring home on 4K Ultra HD.

The release of 2001 on 4K UHD comes after the film played a limited theatrical run this summer.  The run followed the premiere of the “unrestored” 70mm print during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival in May.

It’s highly likely that this remastering doesn’t happen without director Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. Pictures.  While 70mm prints of 2001 have been known to screen from time to time, this year marked the first time new prints were made from the original camera negative since 1968.

2001 to me is the most cinematic film that has ever been made and it has been an honour and a privilege to be able to share the film with a new generation,” said Nolan.  “4K UHD allows the closest recreation of viewing the original film print in your own home.  Kubrick’s masterpiece was originally presented on large format film and the deeper colour palette and superior resolution comes closest to matching the original analogue presentation.”

The influence and legacy of 2001 comes full circle in the following documentary featurette, Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001.  Filmmakers including George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Sydney Pollack, William Friedkin, and visual effects artists such as John Dykstra and Dennis Muren among others are included.  All of these filmmakers and others speak to just how groundbreaking the film was at the time.

“Nobody had put the effort into special effects like Stanley had,” said Star Wars director George Lucas.  “Stanley really reinvented the medium.”

It’s true.  Without 2001, we might never have had Star Wars or other films in the sci-fi genre.  This really does show just how much the visual effects changed up the game.  It’s very well possible that without 2001, some people might never have entered the industry.  There’s really no telling as to what the industry would look like without the film.  Could some people have possibly chosen a different field?  This is seemingly possible but still hard to say.

Another short featurette, Vision of a Future Passed: The Prophecy of 2001, explores what 2001 got right and wrong.  The film pre-dated the lunar landing of Apollo 11 by a year!  Douglas Trumbull, who worked on the film as a Special Photographic Effects Supervisor, comments that he’s proud of how close the depiction is to Jupiter in real life.  The featurette is fascinating when one looks at what has and hasn’t happened since the film came out.  In an interview, Arthur C. Clarke comments that he’s disappointed that space travel didn’t take off.  To be fair, it’s not quite as affordable as traveling by plane.

To think that a point came in which MGM thought about pulling the film from theaters because it wasn’t hitting with audiences!  This was a film that changed filmmaking as we know it.  If Stanley Kubrick didn’t have a name for himself in 1968, he sure did in the years to come.

DIRECTOR:  Stanley Kubrick
SCREENWRITER:  Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke
CAST:  Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood

2001: A Space Odyssey 4K UHD contains the following 4K and Blu-ray elements:
*4K UHD Blu-ray with Commentary from Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood
*Remastered Blu-ray with Commentary from Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood
*The Making of a Myth
*Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001
*Vision of a Future Passed: The Prophecy of 2001
*2001: A Space Odyssey – A Look Behind the Future
*What Is Out There?
*2001: FX and Early Conceptual Artwork
*Look: Stanley Kubrick!
*11/27/66 Interview with Stanley Kubrick [Audio Only]
*Original Theatrical Trailer
*Premium Booklet
*Art Cards

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer opened 2001: A Space Odyssey in theaters on April 3, 1968.  The film is is now available on 4K Ultra HD for the first time.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.