Monday, August 03, 2009

The Missing Kubricks

(I haven't been blogging because I've run into a patch of bad health. Still not feeling very good but at least not as bad as I was last week.)

Cinema Retro linked to the magazine Empire which recently ran a piece on the films Stanley Kubrick hoped to make but never did. Here are two examples:

"One-Eyed Jacks
This hoary environmental Western paired Kubrick (up-and-coming director) with Marlon Brando (fully-fledged superstar) in what should have been a match made in Hollywood heaven but, well, wasn't. In fact, to say that it was disaster would be an understatement. In 1960 Brando's clout with the studio was such that two of the cast - France Nuyen and Karl Malden - were picked without Kubrick's knowledge, in Malden's case with a whopping salary. That wasn't the only problem. "Marlon, I don't know what this picture's about," director told star during their confab at Brando's house. "I'll tell you what it's about," retorted Brando. "It's about the $300,000 that I've already paid Karl Malden." Disagreements festered until Brando schemed to have Kubrick fired and directed himself. The result was a mess Kubrick was happy to walk away from, not least because it freed him to take over when Anthony Mann was fired from Spartacus.

"A.I.: Artificial Intelligence
Admiration for E.T. fuelled Kubrick's interest in 'Super-Toys Last All Summer Long', a short story by British sci-fi writer Brian Aldiss that had grabbed his attention when it appeared in Harper's Bazaar. Super-Toys, a tender, Pinocchio-like tale of artificial intelligence in an overpopulated world, sent him back to his 2001 sci-fi drawing board. To forge it into a script, he enlisted the help of leading authorities on artificial intelligence, as well as 2001 novelist Arthur C. Clarke and a revolving door of British sci-fi writers who were treated to impromptu Chinese banquets at his Hertfordshire home.

All the Peking Duck in the world couldn't forge Aldiss' story into a coherent screenplay though, and the two fell out amid threats of injunctions. A.I. remained close to Kubrick's heart - it was rumoured to be on the verge of filming as late as 1995 (test footage took place in the North Sea), before he turned to Eyes Wide Shut. It was fitting that the film initially inspired by E.T. was passed on to Steven Spielberg, himself so influenced by 2001."

For the rest go here:

http://www.empireonline.com/features/unmade-stanley-kubrick/default.asp

11 comments:

Bill Crider said...

Get better soon, Ed. Judy and I are thinking about you.

Ben Boulden said...

Kara and I are also thinking of you Ed. Hope you feel better, and in a hurry.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I've been thinking about you. Hope things are improving.

Peter L. Winkler said...

I wouldn't put much faith in aything Empire magazine publishes, since France Nuyen isn't in One Eyed Jacks. I wouldn't call it hoary and applying the adjective environmenal is inexplicable, unless the film is somehow environmental because some of it takes place near the Pacific Ocean near Carmel, California.

Jerry House said...

Get better. Stay well.

My deal with Satan (in Section 9.4.a) allows me to have another forty years of reading your blog before...well, it's best not to think of that. For that reason and many others, Kitty and I wish you the very best.

Ed Gorman said...

Thanks for the good wishes, everybody. I really appreciate them.

Charlieopera said...

Feel better, brother.

Bob Levinson said...

Take care, Ed.

David Jack Bell said...

Feel better, Ed!

Anonymous said...

Sending healthy thoughts your way.

Jeff P.

Juri said...

Hope you're already better, Ed - you must be, since you blogged after this.