David Lean's Doctor Zhivago is already an epic, but what if Stanley Kubrick could get his hands on it?
A lot of movie buffs believe that the lost Stanley Kubrick movie they'd love to see was either Napolean or AI: Artificial Intelligence, but what if it was actually Doctor Zhivago? The classic 1965 epic was almost a Kubrick film. Actually, A recently discovered letter from six decades ago sent by Kubrick to the writer of Zhivago, Boris Pasternak, reveals that Kubrick wanted the book rights and also had some ideas for the film.
The letter to Pasternak is dated January 8, 1959 and reads: “The last film, Paths of Glory, won the prize for the best picture of the year in Belgium, Brazil and Finland. We would now like to buy the film rights to Doctor Zhivago. We contacted the New York law firm representing the Italian editors of the book. Negotiations have stalled as they are not ready to close a deal yet. "
We know that thanks to the story that Kubrick historians unearthed Kubrick and producer James B. Harris were already interested in purchasing the rights to Doctor Zhivago in December 1958. They even spoke to Kirk Douglas' production company Bryna Productions to produce and have Douglas star.
Along with this letter, the Kubrick Archives at the University of the Arts in London and the Kirk Douglas Papers at the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research in the early 1950s revealed an invisible passage from Kubrick's personal notebook containing his other ideas on Doctor Zhivago .
“The exact moment of absolute success for a director is when he is allowed to shoot a great literary classic of over 600 pages, which he does not understand very well and which, due to the complexity of the plot or the film, cannot be filmed properly anyway, is his vanity Form or its content, ”wrote Kubrick.
When analyzing this entry James Fenwick, a British film historian, said, “[This] may indicate how Kubrick might have adapted something like Zhivago. […] I can imagine that it would have had the great, epic size of Spartacus, an adaptation of the Howard Fast novel from 1951. "
As we all know, a little director named David Lean came on board and made a masterpiece instead. Still, it's fun to think about how the film would look in Kubrick's hands.
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