2001 – The Motion Picture Trilogy?

It looks as though Arthur C. Clarkes 3001 – The Final Odyssey may be making it’s way on to the big screen.

I am a huge Clarke fan, so this is great news. But what ever happened to 2061, Odyssey Three?

There are four books in the series. 2001 – A Space Odyssey, 2010 – Odyssey Two, 2061 – Odyssey Three, and 3001 – The Final Odyssey.

If you ever read the introduction to 3001, you’ll know that Clarke never intended to write 3001. He felt that the story was complete, the monoliths explained, and he had no hook for another book. Ultimately, he was talked into writing a final sequel. Thank god. 3001 is a great book.

This is where it gets messy. If they’re going to make a motion picture sequel to 2001 and 2010, why not make 2061?

Kubricks 2001 was a masterpiece. It was a visual pleasure. The story, that was fairly faithful to the book, centered around a monolith found on the moon, and later a bigger monolith found around Jupiter (In the book, the monolith was actually to be found near Iapetus, a moon of Saturn, but Stanley Kubrick didn’t believe special effects at the time could accurately depict Saturn and its rings). All the while, “Hal 9000”, the spaceships computer, goes berserk.

2010 – Odyssey Two, was actually made into a movie. It was fairly entertaining for a Clarke fan like me, but needless to say nowhere near the leviathan of motion picture sci-fi that 2001 was already then (2010 was made in 1984, 2001 was made in 1968).

The movie followed the book more so than 2001 (which was ultimately its main flaw) and further elaborated on the story of the monolith, the re-born Hal, and what really happened at the end of 2001.

2061 – Odyssey Three, was one of my favourites of the series. The plot centered around the mysterious moon of Europa, a mystery that was hinted at, but never explained neither in the 2010 book or movie. I’ll try not to reveal too much, suffice to say “we” were forbidden to visit Europa in 2010. In 2061, “we” have to, by accident.

The true nature of the monoliths, if I remember the story correctly, was truly revealed in 2061.

The main reason I liked this book, was because of the way it described the exploration of a world, much in the same way my all-time favourite Clarke book, “Rendezvouz with Rama” did.

3001 – The Final Odyssey, leapfrogs almost a thousand years in to the future. How so you ask? Well, I hope you have all seen or read 2001, otherwise this will spoil it for you. 2001, the astronaut Frank Poole was killed by Hal. He was ejected into space. 3001 picks up Frank Poole, preserved at absolute zero, and resurrects him with technology a millenium more advanced than ours.

This, last book in the series, draws on what we learned about the monoliths in 2061, and uses this to present a new and interesting twist, with regards to the monoliths.

In other words, 2061 is required reading prior to 3001. This is why I would like to see a 2061 movie before a 3001.

It may just be my protectionism towards my favourite sci-fi author. After all—they could just tell 2061 as a backstory or flashback in 3001…

… but not without making it a Hollywood movie. And that’s the last thing I want to see 3001 turn into.

24 thoughts on “2001 – The Motion Picture Trilogy?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    i believe your right i love these books and i would want them to follow the books and make a movie out of all of them

  2. LZT says:

    Wow! This is certainly great news! Just saw 2001 and 2010 films and am positively thrilled!

    Agree completely on the badness of 3001 turning into a Hollywood film – has to be a masterpiece worthy of the other two, freed of the banal patterns and predictability of the Hollywood filmmaking.

    Saturn? Don’t you mean Jupiter?

  3. Joen says:

    Jupiter or Saturn? Actually now you mention it I had to look it up.

    It turns out that in the movie, they go directly to Jupiter. In the book, however, they travel to Iapetus, a moon of Saturn by way of gravitational slingshot around Jupiter. This has been added to the article. Source.

  4. I’m very skeptical that 3001 could be filmed successfully. Arthur Clarke’s books are idea-oriented, and nothing scares Hollywood more than ideas. The movie of 2001 did the job because in 1968, MGM was run by a guy who believed in Ars Gratia Artis, and Stanley Kubrick was a master of quality filmmaking. 2010 wasn’t as successful because it lost so much of the subtlety of Clarke’s novel. And I do not understand why they’d do 3001 without doing 2061 first. That seems to bastardize the series. I’d just as soon they let the whole thing go; I just have no faith in Hollywood to pull it off.

  5. Michael says:

    I agree with parts of that observation, though I think 2001 needs some extra attention to detail in this discussion. While Clarke gets most of the recognition for 2001, and deservedly so, Kubrick was instrumental in its making. To some extend they wrote it together, with the movie in mind.

    Which I think, is one of the reasons that it works so well as a movie; Kubrick knew what kind of movie he wanted. And where 2010 is much more of a pragmatic sci-fi movie (and not bad I’d say, but it’s ‘just’ another space movie), 2001 is a visual journey. Hardly anything happens, in 3.5 hours of celluloid, there’s at max. 20 minutes of dialouge, of which most is at the very beginning of the film.

    This is also the reason why I personally feel that the movie far outweighs the book. Somehow the book is just boring, factual and somewhat contrieved.

    But I share your point of view. I don’t believe they could pull it off again. Not without giving it to a visionary, someone who pulls a lot of weight, who can’t subsequently be pushed around by the studio.

  6. Joen says:

    Collin,

    I’m for and against a 3001. I’m against the movie for the same reasons you are, but I am for the movie for a number of reasons;—It would mean a new sci-fi movie based on a book by my alltime favourite author, Clarke. —I enjoyed I Robot quite a bit, although it did not (at all!) make any justice to the original material by Asimov—A new Clarke movie would possibly spawn a renewed interest in a) Clarke books to movies, b) new sci-fi movies—Look at the Batman franchise – 1+2 were great, 3+4 were crap, but it didn’t stop Christopher Nolan from starting it all over with Batman Begins… —Bottom line: I think many good things can come from a 3001 movie.

    Michael,

    You make a very good point. Although I did enjoy 2001 the book, I enjoyed the sequels much, much more.

  7. “Somehow the book is just boring, factual and somewhat contrieved.”

    I couldn’t disagree more. The book is thrilling and fascinating in a way that few other sci-fi novels have achieved (but which Clarke does fairly often), and on a personal note, was my introduction to “hard” SF. I think 2001, both book and movie, is as close as you can get to THE PERFECT science fiction story. It actually makes me a bit jealous…I’ll never tell a story that good…

    You could make an arguement that 2010 is superior to 2001. It’s more conventional, it’s got all the elements of a classic novel—a great story, memorable characters, a beginning, middle, and end—in other words, all the things 2001 didn’t have. But I think 2001’s unconventional, nonlinear story is one of its strengths. If 2010 is technically the better novel, I think 2001 is the better SCIENCE FICTION novel. 2001 more eloquently and completely expresses the vastness of the universe, the complex relationship between man and machine, and our long and lonely journey from ape to maturity. The fact that it’s not a conventional story adds to the disconcerting feeling that we don’t understand the universe. I don’t think any of the sequels address all these ideas, or even try to. 2010 is a human drama and an adventure through the Jupiter system, 2061 is a direct sequel to 2010, and 3001 is a Jules Verne-style journey through the world of the distant future. I love all four books, but I think 2001 is the best.

  8. sean says:

    Actually the 2 odessey movies are pretty dull & boring, concidering they’re plots, I think. However, I love sci-fi flicks, so the sites and make up of the films do facinate me. There’s just not enough happening for me. 2010 was a whole lot better than 2001. And yes, there should be a 2061 film before 3001 Odessey, but they don’t come close to Alien and Aliens.

  9. Michael says:

    My God man. Trust me, when I say that I have all the love in the world for Alien and Aliens. But comparing either of them to Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is… Well, it’s sacriledge…

    Alien and Aliens are popcorn, 2001 is philosophy.

  10. Joen says:

    Alien and Aliens are popcorn, 2001 is philosophy.

    Couldn’t agree more.

    2001 is philosophy, and it’s a fantastic piece of motion history. That said, I can easily understand why someone would think it dull. Heck, much as I like it, I can still fall asleep watching parts of it.

  11. Michael says:

    Indeed, it is quite slow; and it requires that you enter it with a certain mindset. If WordPress’ search function didn’t suck balls, I would do a quick search and find the entries I have written about 2001; unfortunately it does suck, and I can’t quite seem to find them just now 🙂

  12. Joen says:

    Hehe, I know what you mean. For the photo entry I recently wrote, I scoured your site for your gallery solution callout, but didn’t find it. I ended up finding it through Google.

  13. Sibtain says:

    2001 is, as you said, philosophy and should be watched with a mindset for that. As to 2061 and 3001 being movies, I’m all for it, but I hope Hollywood doesn’t try to dramatize the story.

  14. sean says:

    Doese anyone here want to see a sequel to Event Horizon? I love the movie for what it offers us. It’s complete horror, done very well, and with a reasonly believable future(2047). We’re not taken to Hell or where ever it’s been. That being said is fine for the first film, but lets have a second movie that goes there. And we all know who’s already there.

  15. Elizabeth Chambers says:

    working on 3rd clark novel for an independant movie? anyone? got 70mill in discretionary funds? If so, can’t wait to see the movie!

  16. mahen says:

    space oddessy cannot be final, as it is mentioned in 3001, as the evolution of ideas and mans conciousness becomes more clearer aftr each century.as 2061

    should be made before 3001.. and who knows there will be 10001?

  17. Jason says:

    On a Clarke novel-to-movie note. David Fincher will be directing and Morgan Freeman will be starring in a Hollywood version of Rendezvous with Rama, due out in 2009. Just hearing Fincher’s name attached to this project gives me hope that it won’t absolutely suck. I think they’ll either hit it really big, or it will fall by the wayside – as far as public consumption. I don’t see much of a middle ground here. Let’s hope it hits big, and they attempt to make a series out of it. Anyone up for seeing big-screen octospiders?

  18. Joen says:

    David Fincher will be directing and Morgan Freeman will be starring in a Hollywood version of Rendezvous with Rama, due out in 2009.

    You absolutely must provide a source to such a delicious item of news!

  19. Jason says:

    You absolutely must provide a source to such a delicious item of news!

    Granted, there hasn’t been much of an update on this for a while, but this is Morgan Freeman’s production company…

    http://www.revelationsent.com/site/projects/in_development/rama.html

    Also, IMDb has it listed as “in production” (whatever that actually means) with both of them attached. And somewhere along the line I read an interview with Fincher right after Zodiac came out. He said that it’s something he’s wanted to do for years now, and it finally looks like the scheduling will work out. Hopefully it does. I absolutely loved the Rama series.

  20. Joen says:

    I have heard the rumors about Morgan Freeman, but that was a long time ago. I wish they’d make some kind of statement, or a teaser poster, to signify things are more real this time (which I hope they are).

  21. ZayanK says:

    “David Fincher will be directing and Morgan Freeman will be starring in a Hollywood version of Rendezvous with Rama, due out in 2009.”

    This is absolutely outrageous! I had the intention of writing and directing it! 🙁

    xD

  22. Jeff says:

    I, too, am a HUGE fan of the Space Odyssey series. I’ve read all the books and have seen the 2001 and 2010. I am TRULY hoping and praying that someone who has the proper “vision” and love for the Space Odyssey series will create films for 2061 and 3001!

    I read 2061 in high school (dating myself lol), and read 3001 within months of it’s release… I was blown away! I could not put down 3001!

    I would simply love to see these final chapters in the Odyssey series closed with some brilliant visuals, special effects and the like. Perhaps rekindling peoples’ love for the Odyssey series and reacquaint them with the masterpieces of Sir Arthur C. Clarke!

  23. bohdan says:

    hey great! somebody out there is thinking of this stuff! 2001 is one of my favourite or is my favourite movies of all time… if someone makes it, it better be more like 2001 than 2010. 2010 was kinda an 80’s sci-fi cheese flick.

  24. Jeff says:

    I totally agree with you Robota… 2061 SHOULD be made first to help people understand 3001… besides, I’d like to see the whole Saga in one nice, neat little blu-ray boxed set!!! 😛

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