After the success of Dr. Strangelove, Stanley Kubrick launched into the development of a highly ambitious film he had long dreamed of, preparing in secret by devouring sci-fi films and scientific essays on space exploration. This was early 1964, and the filmmaker reached out for support to Arthur C. Clarke, a British novelist and specialist in the genre, whose theories Kubrick respected. For nearly two years, the two men worked together to construct the plot of the feature film. Their discussions were sometimes endless and high-powered. The duo rapidly decided to co-write a book, which was then adapted for 2001. At the heart of the story lies the idea that Earth is perhaps not the "only haven of life".
To add some flesh to his script and irrigate it with the latest scientific advances, Kubrick also sought out several recognised experts, some of whom worked at NASA. As a perfectionist, the director set himself extremely high aesthetic and philosophical objectives. Above all he wanted every last scientific detail to be legitimate. At the same time, he enrolled several dozen technicians to make the models and sets of 2001. Their realism was breathtaking. While the filmmaker then began to devote himself entirely to his work, Arthur C. Clarke kept refining the screenplay. In total, the script only has around 40 minutes of dialogue – in a film lasting 2 hours 44 minutes!