When Stanley Kubrick Made First Contact With Arthur C. Clarke

When Stanley Kubrick Made First Contact With Arthur C. Clarke

Posted by July 26, 2012 Comment

On the occasion of what would have been Stanley Kubrick’s 84th birthday, the supreme blog Letters of Note have reproduced this first bit of outreach from the director to his eventual Space Odyssey partner Arthur C. Clarke.

Best bit? The humble brag hidden at the end, as Kubrick shows off some knowledge of small portable telescopes.


March 31, 1964

Mr. Arthur C. Clarke
[Address redacted]

Dear Mr Clarke:

It’s a very interesting coincidence that our mutual friend Caras mentioned you in a conversation we were having about a Questar telescope. I had been a great admirer of your books for quite a time and had always wanted to discuss with you the possibility of doing the proverbial “really good” science-fiction movie.

My main interest lies along these broad areas, naturally assuming great plot and character:

  1. The reasons for believing in the existence of intelligent extra-terrestrial life.
  2. The impact (and perhaps even lack of impact in some quarters) such discovery would have on Earth in the near future.
  3. A space probe with a landing and exploration of the Moon and Mars.

Roger tells me you are planning to come to New York this summer. Do you have an inflexible schedule? If not, would you consider coming sooner with a view to a meeting, the purpose of which would be to determine whether an idea might exist or arise which could sufficiently interest both of us enough to want to collaborate on a screenplay?

Incidentally, “Sky & Telescope” advertise a number of scopes. If one has the room for a medium size scope on a pedestal, say the size of a camera tripod, is there any particular model in a class by itself, as the Questar is for small portable scopes?

Best regards,


Stanley Kubrick

Happy birthday, Stanley.

(Last Updated July 26, 2012 9:58 pm )

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