The current jacket art for Warner Home Entertainment’s forthcoming 4K UHD Bluray of 2001: A Space Odyssey is muddy and noirish looking — an arterial red close-up image of Keir Dullea’s Dave Bowman. Which is almost an exact visual opposite of the previous jacket art design that appeared last March, an image of the red-suited Bowman walking through a bright white passageway aboard the Jupiter-bound Discovery.
Why did WHE change the jacket art? My guess (just a guess) is that the glarey white-and-red cover was deep-sixed because it doesn’t agree with the subdued yellow-ish image from the same scene in the Chris Nolan-approved 4K version of 2001, which will “street” on 10.30.
If you haven’t been keeping up, Nolan’s yellow-teal “nostalgia” version elbowed aside a previous 4K UHD version of Stanley Kubrick‘s 1968 classic. 70mm prints of Nolan’s version opened in theatres a while back. The gleaming white 4K jacket-art image speaks for itself. Directly below is a grab from the scene in question as found on WHE’s 2007 Bluray. Below that is the same scene in Nolan’s un-restored version, which is the basis for the new 4K Bluray. The subdued yellowish tint is obviously darker and more subdued than the 2007 Bluray image, and is dramatically darker than the gleaming bright image from the three-month-old 4K jacket image. Do the math.