A high-profile auction of Hollywood memorabilia has seen the iconic spacesuit taken from Stanley Kubrick masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey sold for an eye-watering figure.
The recent ‘Hollywood: Legends & Explorers’ memorabilia event hosted by Julien’s Auctions, held in the plush area of Californian location Beverly Hills, sold over 900 items from legendary films and television series and attracted international interest.
However, the headline sale arrived when the spacesuit from Kubrick’s science-fiction classic was purchased for £294,597 ($370,000). The costume, which was worn by Keir Dullea, the actor who played the role of pilot David Bowman, was also accompanied by the original helmet.
The film, released in 1968 and widely considered one of the greatest pictures of all time, follows a conspicuous voyage to Jupiter and delves deep into subjects such as human evolution, existentialism, technology and artificial intelligence and the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
The official film synopsis reads: “An imposing black structure provides a connection between the past and the future in this enigmatic adaptation of a short story by revered sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke. When Dr. Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and other astronauts are sent on a mysterious mission, their ship’s computer system, HAL, begins to display increasingly strange behaviour, leading up to a tense showdown between man and machine that results in a mind-bending trek through space and time.”
It is believed that following the completion of his 1964 film Dr. Strangelove, Kubrick became borderline obsessed by the possibility of extraterrestrial life and, upon meeting Clarke, instantly penned the idea for a novel.
The making of the film suffered multiple setbacks and delays as Kubrick maxed out the budget on his obscenely ambitious project. He and Clarke went back and forth with radical re-writes, and the film was finally released on April 2, 1968, at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C, 2001: A Space Odyssey split opinion across the board.
However, addressing poor reviews, Kubrick described those critics as “dogmatically atheistic and materialistic and earthbound.” Arguably his work years ahead of its time, those mixed reviews will now all be converted to five stars. In 1991, the film was labelled “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.