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Rare 2001: A Space Odyssey Trailer Featured Test Footage

by Conner Flynn

Here is a rare trailer for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey from 1967. It recently showed up online so that we can have a look and see how this sci-fi classic was first promoted to audiences. It is an especially interesting trailer because it was released almost a year before the film’s 1968 opening.

The effects were not ready at the time since they took about two years to complete. So instead of showing footage from the movie, they took the unusual approach of showing some test clips shot by effects supervisor Douglas Trumbull. There is also some concept art and a voiceover, and it really tells you nothing about the real plot of the film – just that it had something to do with exploring space.

You could never get away with this today, but audiences back then had more imagination in general and no blockbuster expectations, so I am sure they saw the potential in this future movie.

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