In the wake of the story making the rounds on the interwebs, Warner Bros. has issued a statement which put the final word on the matter: “The additional footage from “2001: A Space Odyssey” has always existed in the Warner vaults. When [director Stanley] Kubrick trimmed the 17 minutes from ‘2001’ after the NY premiere, he made it clear the shortened version was his final edit. The film is as he wanted it to be presented and preserved and Warner Home Video has no plans to expand or revise Mr. Kubrick’s vision.”
So while the statement puts to rest any notions of “2001: A Space Odyssey – The Premiere Cut” or some such bullshit to rest, you’ll notice that Warner Bros. doesn’t exactly say that footage will never see the light of day. It’s kind of mind boggling that footage, which Warner Bros. acknowledges they knew was sitting in their vault, was never featured as an extra, particularly on the recent BluRay release of the film. Seems like some perfect contextual material though likely, Kubrick stipulated that once that footage was axed, he didn’t want anybody to see it ever.
So Kubrick fans, unless you were actually at the New York Premiere of the the film way back when and were able to see the footage that was eventually edited out of the final version, it will remain a mystery. But the upside? “2001: A Space Odyssey” still rules as is. [Hollywood Elsewhere]