When Stanley Kubrick passed away in 1999 at the age of 70, he left behind a film making legacy that has served as an inspiration for many directors and writers. Most people assumed that his film Eyes Wide Shut, that opened after his passing in 1999, would be his last film. Now however, thanks to research by a British film academic, that may not be the case.
Nathan Abrams is a film professor at Bangor University in Wales, and he spoke to The Guardian on Sunday about a script he’d been shown by the son of one of Kubrick’s collaborators. The script was for Burning Secret, a project the director had worked on in the 50s. It was written by Kubrick and author and screenwriter Calder Willingham (“The Graduate”) in 1956. It’s based on the novella by Austrian novelist and playwright Stefan Zweig, and it follows the story of a mother and son on a holiday who meet a mysterious man who befriends the young boy in an attempt to seduce his mother. While the project was well known, what nobody knew was whether or not a screenplay had been written at all, or even started. Abrams though told BBC radio this morning that “It’s a full script: beginning, middle, end. As to whether that was the final one, we can’t say.”
Whether or not a film will be made of the script is yet to be seen, as Abrams has doubts that it would “fit Stanley Kubrick’s vision.” After all not only did Kubrick choose not to make the film in the end, but Abrams said that you also “have to add into the mix that Stanley only ever looked at a screenplay as a blueprint to which he then added his audiovisual expertise.”
Burning Secret has been adapted for the screen twice before, once in 1933 and once in 1988.