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From Myth to Reality

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2001: A Space Odyssey - The Screenplay
by Stanley Kubrik and Arthur C. Clarke

Inspired by Arthur C. Clarke's short story The Sentinel, Kubrick and Clarke began writing their original scenario for the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” in the spring of 1964. The final screenplay is a broad and haunting saga, relating the story of the relationship between man and his tools and of the role of extra terrestrial intelligence in the evolution of mankind, and sketching an unforgettable image of the future.
However, much has changed between the final drafting of the ultimate release of the film. Major changes took place during the editing of the film, and After the film's premiere, in April 1968, Kubrick cut 19 minutes from the movie, including scenes in the Dawn of Man prologue, the Orion Spaceship, and shots of Pool exercising in the centrifuge and returning with the AE-35 unit. He also inserted the title cards 'Jupiter Mission 18 Months Later' and 'Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite'.
Thus, the screenplay is a midpoint between Kubrik’s inspiration and its enactment. It is a brilliant narrative that captures the very essence of the world which has been created on film, and leaves the reader with a sense of awe and bewilderment.

The complete screenplay is available online.

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