Stanley Kubrick's unrealized projects




This is why the internet sucks: when I click on the footnote in the Wikipedia article explaining the Beatles interest in making a Lord of the Rings film, the link is dead. The article, which used to be on CNN, is apparently no longer there. It just goes to the CNN homepage. Long live print.


Love the Fab Four, but gotta agree with crotchety old Tolkien on this point.

No doubt would have become a cult classic, they should have parodied it since the old coot wasn’t going along, “The Lord of the Strings” or something, maybe they have to carry a tune all the way to Mount Gloom, who knows?


They kinda did with the Yellow Submarine movie. The Blue Meanies as orcs?

Incidentally, “blue meanies” is what my father used to refer to lighting farts on fire as. Might still. Dunno.


The only time I ever saw that I was under influences myself, all plot lines were lost on me & I never saw it again, I’ll have to check it out. I remember it kind of annoyed me, but it was followed by Salome’s Last Dance which made up for it, for some reason, since I couldn’t follow that story either.

So glad I’m not a teenager anymore.


So the only evidence is that maybe Peter Jackson said so? On a non-existent CNN page?

Pfft. Can we really believe someone who thought Thorin Oakenshield needed an extra nemesis? That Smaug and the legendary greed of Dwarves were insufficient?


I would think an even bigger hindrance to Kubrick’s involvement would be his efforts to make a film about Napoleon. And one of the biggest hindrances to it was the expense of the battle scenes–which would only be made affordable by the advent of CGI.

Interestingly I’m reading a biography of Kubrick at the moment, and if there’s one thing I’ve gotten from it it’s that Kubrick didn’t give a damn what anyone thought. If he wanted to work with The Beatles to make a Lord Of The Rings film he’d have pushed for it regardless of how Tolkien felt.


Or by using Soviet soldiers.


major hindrance to the project’s progression was Tolkien’s opposition to the involvement of the Beatles.

The trick is to do what Peter Jackson did, and wait until Tolkien is dead and THEN defy his wishes and those of his son and family.


Oh great. Then we’d have conspiracy theories about moon landing and whether the ring was in Mt Doom.


I’m still not sure if I should be pissed off at Kubrick or Spielberg for the sappy, tacked-on and completely unnecessary ending of A.I., so I’ll assume it was Spielberg’s idea so I won’t have to think ill of the dead.

Not that the film would have aged well anyway—a central plot point involved the main character going to the big city and spending the last of his limited funds to consult a computer that was basically just a far-less-useful version of the Google search engine by way of the Genie from Aladdin.


Kubrick’s weird endings are an essential part of his style. The “tacked-on, completely unnecessary” bit in 2001 with the astronaut in the weird hotel room is thought of rather fondly, yet it seems like critics of A.I. must have missed that one. (I know, it was an adaption of a story, but still, it was Kubrick’s film - he could have ended the film traditionally if that had been his style.)


Thank you. I am still sick to this day of people blaming Spielberg (who Kubrick originally wanted to direct A.I.) for that ending. I actually enjoyed the ending knowing it was straight from Kubrick’s play book.


I am ready to fund this project immediately. My only stipulation is that the band has to be One Direction or Maroon 5. Oh, and Dave Matthews has to play Gollum. Where do I send my money?


The Ring is in the leg of the Apollo 12 lunar lander, safely out of reach.


The “weird hotel room” bit in 2001 is “thought of rather fondly” by some of us because it follows the film’s logic, and resolves some things. Just as, during Heywood Floyd’s flight to the Moon, we’re taken through the daily human activities of excretion, eating, and sleeping, Bowman goes through all three in the room. And that early striking scene in which the bone thrown into the air becomes a satellite is finally resolved with the glass falling and breaking.

Having said all that I think the challenge of A.I. was coming up with any kind of satisfying ending, regardless of who was directing.


Tolkien opposed the involvement of CNN.


But what would be the point of 2001 without the final scene? The whole point was that Monolith was artificially evolving life on Earth. Hominids to Humans. Humans to whatever the hell Bowman became. That’s why the theme song of the movie was Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra” which was a tone poem inspired by Nietzsche’s work of the same name where he discussed his theory of the coming Ubermensch.


This is why the internet doesn’t suck.

Long live print.


Then again, imagine the joy of hearing a furry-footed Ringo declaiming, “Po-ta-toes.”