Today’s “Planet Earth Report” –2001: A Space Odyssey – “How Stanley Kubrick’s Sci-Fi Changed 50 Years of Cinema”

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As Stanley Kubrick’s monolithic movie celebrates its half century, special effects gurus, directors and those who worked on the film describe its legacy and impact on science fiction in today's Guardian.

Jan Harlan, producer of The Shining and A.I. Artificial Intelligence


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Arthur C Clarke and Stanley Kubrick shared the same spirit: agnostic, curious, very intelligent and in awe of the endlessness of the universe. If a film managed to build on what 2001 did, it’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence – it predicted the end of humanity. Stanley was convinced that we have no chance to survive in the long run, the way we behave – whether we exist for another 50 or 500 years doesn’t matter, it’s a short moment either way on the large scale of time. It is a dead serious message wrapped in a sweetener where robots survive their former masters. Does that mean HAL wins in the end? No, it’s a very different story merely born out of the same spirit.

John Gaeta, visual effects supervisor, The Matrix

HAL is really the first mass understanding that artificial intelligence could exist. The people building those interfaces use films like 2001 as guides and influences. The film is completely contemporary in its idea that AI could destroy us. We’re within five years of that moment now. Not necessarily in the exact context of that story, but in the context of AI overruling us on something important. The next step is what Spike Jonze was talking about in Her. 2001 was basically off by 20 years.

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