There are a lot of hurdles out there when it comes to making a video that will stand out among the zillions that are already available across the Internet. You need a great idea. You need to execute it well. And if you can leave the viewer wondering just how the hell you pulled it off, so much the better. The above video, a fan merging of this year’s Europa Report with imagery and footage from 2001: A Space Odyssey in order to create a faux trailer for Arthur C. Clarke’s unfilmed 2061 sequel did precisely that. It left me asking, “Is that really Keir Dullea? How the hell did they get Keir Dullea?”
Because damn if that doesn’t look just like the dude who played David Bowman in Stanley Kubrick’s science fiction classic (not to mention the sequel, which I love even more). I kept squinting and replaying the video, trying to figure out if they got a really impressive double or if it was all some sort of digital trickery. The answer, after a bit of digging, is simpler: it really is Dullea, but the footage he’s in wasn’t originally made for this fan trailer. Instead the footage — a clear homage to the trippy final act of 2001 — is part of an ad concept video called “Immersive Cocoon.” It has Dullea, now aged for real rather than beneath makeup, having a mysterious encounter with a monolith that’s a bit rounder than the standard-issue model.
With that incredibly handy footage available, YouTuber MckyMseNTarotCrds1 had the clever idea to create a fake teaser for 2061: Odyssey Three, the sequel novel that Clarke published in 1987. (He also wrote a fourth in the series, 3001: The Final Odyssey, first published in 1997.) And since Europa Report just served up a new SF adventure very much in the vein of Clarke’s adventures, it made perfect sense to incorporate footage from that as well. After all, both the Monolith books and Europa Report involve mysteries on the titular Jovian moon, so they mesh together quite well. If I have one criticism, it’s that the video really should have borrowed some footage from the 2010 movie as well. The scenes with Bowman are just begging to be slotted in here. “What’s going to happen?” “Something wonderful.”
All in all, a very nice bit of chimera-making. Just remember: attempt no landing on Europa.