Stanley Kubrick Explains Enigmatic ‘2001’ Ending For The First Time In Never-Before-Seen Interview

Wrote this for The Playlist, in which I talk about a recently found lost interview with Stanley Kubrick where he actually explains the ending of 2001: A SPACE ODDYSEY. 

I think the overall wow factor of this 2001/Kubrick finding is the fact that he actually explains the ending in his own words. We all know what happens, and it's even explained, more or less, in the book as well, but this is nevertheless an amazing find.

“I’ve tried to avoid doing this ever since the picture came out. When you just say the ideas they sound foolish, whereas if they’re dramatized one feels it, but I’ll try. The idea was supposed to be that he is taken in by god-like entities, creatures of pure energy and intelligence with no shape or form. They put him in what I suppose you could describe as a human zoo to study him, and his whole life passes from that point on in that room. And he has no sense of time. It just seems to happen as it does in the film.”

He continues, “They choose this room, which is a very inaccurate replica of French architecture (deliberately so, inaccurate) because one was suggesting that they had some idea of something that he might think was pretty but wasn’t quite sure. Just as we’re not quite sure what do in zoos with animals to try to give them what they think is their natural environment. Anyway, when they get finished with him, as happens in so many myths of all cultures in the world, he is transformed into some kind of super being and sent back to Earth, transformed and made some kind of Superman. We have to only guess what happens when he goes back. It is the pattern of a great deal of mythology, and that is what we were trying to suggest.”