"2001" Trailers, Then and Now


Stanley Kubrick's 2001 is a moody sci-fi masterpiece. Its pacing is, by modern sci-fi standards, slow -- but those of us who love the movie see that as part of its appeal. It's a slow burn, so to speak. Recently a speculative trailer for 2001 has been making the rounds. In this new trailer, the movie is marketed as a modern summer blockbuster, using the conventions of modern sci-fi/action trailers -- loud techno, lots of cuts, and goofy onscreen text with that "slam" sound to drive it into your dumb brain. I thought it would be interesting to compare the original trailer with the new one.

The Original Trailer

No dialogue, no fast-cutting, no text-based handholding -- but the movie's theme and scope is communicated. It is clear that this happens in space, and it's kind of trippy. The glorious "Also sprach Zarathustra" theme is all the sound we need to understand what this movie is about.

2012 "Summer Blockbuster" Recut

The music and fast-cutting turn 2001 into Prometheus. I laughed out loud at "fasten your seatbelts." This is by "ChugsTheMonkey," courtesy of Film School Rejects, who explain:

As brilliant as Stanley Kubrick‘s sci-fi contemplation on everything is, it would be a nightmare to advertise today. Far from high concept, it doesn’t fit neatly into the quadrants that movie marketing teams salivate over winning. So how would they do it?

What's weird is that I don't hate this trailer. I would totally go see this movie if I saw this trailer. What do you think? Take a look:

2001 is available as a ten buck Blu-ray that's really quite good. It's no 70mm Cinerama, but hey.