In about a month, Alfonso Cuarón’s long-awaited science fiction epic Gravity will hit theaters everywhere. The follow-up film to 2006’s Children of Men has been gestating for seven years until cinematic technology caught up with Cuarón’s vision. The movie has already had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and screened at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, and critics are very impressed with Cuarón’s latest. In fact, Gravity has been earning comparisons to Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 science fiction classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, in terms of both vision and scope. So why not watch them back-to-back?
Considering that Gravity and 2001: A Space Odyssey are a perfect match, an online petition has surfaced to urge Warner Bros. and theater exhibitors to package both science fiction movies together as one epic double feature. Warner Bros. owns the rights to almost every major release from Stanley Kubrick — including 2001 — and the studio is also the distributor for Cuarón’s Gravity. How convenient!
2001: A Space Odyssey is not only an amazing science fiction movie, but it’s also considered a “game changer” when it comes to the art of the motion picture. Before 2001, movies had never truly captured what it looks like to drift and move in the weightless vacuum of space, and now it seems like Gravity will build on that legacy.
One of the reasons why it took Cuarón seven years to make Gravity was that he wanted to recreate weightlessness on a movie sound stage in a way that had never been done before. He enlisted Avatar director James Cameron to help him and his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki to build a special 3D camera rig to accomplish the difficult feat. Based on the early reviews, it seems like Gravity was well worth the wait.
Both Gravity and 2001: A Space Odyssey are high-minded and mature science fiction movies, as opposed to action-adventure films like Star Trek Into Darkness, Pacific Rim, and Oblivion, so it’s somewhat fitting that both films would be showcased as a double feature. Hopefully, the online petition will get enough attention to catch Warner Bros.’ attention.
It’s important to note that 2001 was filmed and presented as a 70mm film print. Film projectors that can screen and display 70mm prints are super rare at movie theater chains such as AMC, Regal, or Cinemark. While it would be a good idea to present 2001: A Space Odyssey and Gravity as a double feature, it might cheapen the experience if the Blu-ray of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece was merely projected on a big screen. Nevertheless, the online petition is admirable.
Gravity stars Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer who is on her first space shuttle mission, and George Clooney as Matt Kowalsky, a veteran astronaut who is on his last one. Within the film’s first act, a spectacular accident takes place, which leaves Dr. Stone and Kowalsky separated. Stone is left to drift through space with no hope for rescue and with very little oxygen left in her tanks.
Gravity will hit theaters everywhere on October 4, in 3D and IMAX.
Sign the “Please Give Movie Fans A ‘2001’/’Gravity’ Double Feature In Theaters” online petition here.