For what it’s worth, I’d pay good money to see the recently discovered 17 minutes of footage that was cut 42 years ago from Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Or rather, the 2001 footage that’s being described by Douglas Trumbull as “recently discovered.” Because it hasn’t been.

The 17 minutes of footage has been siting in a salt-mine vault in Hutchinson, Kansas, for eons, I’m told, and its existence was confirmed 20 years ago through the checking of inventory records by film restorer Robert Harris, who’d been asked to check on the 2001 elements by Kubrick.

A lot of the footage, I’m told, is floating-in-space stuff — superfluous, better left trimmed. A portion of it is from the “Dawn of Man” sequence. Apes hopping around, nothing all that special. Some shots of Gary Lockwood‘s Frank Poole character jogging in the centrifuge were removed along with shots of his space walk before HAL kills him. A scene showing HAL severing radio communication between the Discovery and Poole’s pod. Fatty extraneous stuff, in short, that made 2001 better by being taken out.

Would it be interesting to see this footage on a Bluray? Sure. Would 2001 seem like a better or somehow stronger film if the 17 minutes was re-integrated into the 139-minute released version? Probably not. It would most likely make the film seem flabby and longer than it needs to be. Would it be commercial if they put it out on Bluray? Oh, yeah. Because guys like me would pay through the nose to own it.