Two days ago I reported that Warner Home Entertainment’s forthcoming 4K Bluray of Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey (streeting on 10.30) will apparently be adopting the yellowish-teal color scheme of Chris Nolan‘s 70mm un-restored “nostalgia” version of this classic 1968 film. The evidence is a WHE trailer for the 4K Bluray that was posted on 6.21.
I’ve been trying to find industry professionals who (a) share my disdain for the Nolan version and (b) might publicly challenge WHE and urge them to not go down this path. My first reach-out was to Leon Vitali, the dedicated keeper of the Kubrick flame who told me two months ago that there’s a distinct difference between the WHE 4K Bluray (i.e., the version that he had been color-timing, I mean) and the Nolan version of the film.
Vitali didn’t begin working for Kubrick until the late ’70s, but he’s presumably familiar with the original 2001 color scheme, having watched and examined many prints and many versions on various formats. Vitali may be making his thoughts known privately, but so far he hasn’t responded to me or to another party who shares my concern.
Today I reached out to Douglas Trumbull, who engineered many of the visual effects for 2001. He would surely have a good memory of how 2001 looked in ’68 and a clear grasp of how it should look today. On top of which Trumbull is a tough guy who’s always spoken his mind.
I’m also in the process of reaching out to Dan Richter, who played “Moonwatcher” in 2001. Dan doesn’t have the technical background, of course, but he was there at the creation and has presumably watched 2001 many times over the decades. My late father knew Dan from AA. I visited him 26 years ago at his home near Pasadena, and then wrote a piece about him for the L.A. Times “Calendar” section. Dan has written two books — “Moonwatcher’s Memoir” (’02) and “The Dream Is Over” (’12)
Somebody with the right kind of history and authority has to man up and say something.