Film memorabilia might, one day, go the way of compact discs and landlines. After all, filmmakers are increasingly relying on visual effects and post-production to get great films, rather than relying on the props department. Even famous, decade long superhero sagas. Or maybe especially so.
Legendary auteur Stanley Kubrick, however, didn’t have much in the way of computer-generated imagery (seeing as the film was made in 1968). Which is lucky for us, as the spacesuit donned by the explorers in the film has survived to this day: and now been put up for auction.
2001: A Space Odyssey was a film that received polarising reviews. It’s understandable – apart from great visual effects, solid acting from its cast and strong characters (most notably, a terrifying sentient AI Hal 9000 that probably led to our persistent impression that robots might one day take over), the story was, for lack of a better word, imaginative. We won’t spoil too much (even though you’ve had over 50 years to watch it), but if you’re as starstruck as us when the credits roll, then consider bidding for a spacesuit that belongs, rightly, in the halls of celebrated film history.
The pieces include a helmet that has four distinct coats of paint, as well as a silver body suit that’s never been repainted. Interestingly, the auctioneers have noted that the helmet’s base green layer of paint, with all its chips and dents sustained from filming, suggests that the helmet was worn by Keir Dullea, who played Dr Dave Bowman, the lead astronaut in the film. He also happens to be wearing said helmet when he heads to HAL 9000’s logic center to kill off the errant AI in the film.
The lunar spacesuit consists of a few other details: reflective silver one-piece coveralls with “United States Astronautics Agency Clavius Base” logo shoulder patches, a pair of gloves, boots, audio headset and buckle.
More than just great sci-fi memorabilia, the spacesuit shows Kubrick and his team’s commitment to accuracy in its portrayal of astronauts. Consultants brought on for costume design include NASA veteran Harry Lange, who created the designs of the spaceships, spacesuits and more.
As one of the most desirable pieces of cinematic history that comes from a massively influential film, this is a bit of pop culture that you wouldn’t want to miss. It’s already going for around $230,000 and rising. Don’t stop now, Dave.
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