×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Found: Stanley Kubrick’s Lost Screenplay, ‘Burning Secret’

A script co-written by Stanley Kubrick has been found by a British film academic who was researching the legendary director’s last picture, “Eyes Wide Shut.” The screenplay, “Burning Secret,” is an adaptation of a 1913 novella by Austrian novelist and playwright Stefan Zweig.

It was written by Kubrick and author and screenwriter Calder Willingham (“The Graduate”) in 1956. The story follows a mother and son on a holiday and a mysterious man who befriends the young boy in an attempt to seduce his mother.

It was known that Kubrick had worked on “Burning Secret” but not to what extent, or whether there was a completed screenplay. Nathan Abrams, a film professor at Bangor University in Wales, told BBC radio Monday that he was shown the 100-plus-page screenplay by the son of one of Kubrick’s collaborators, who wants to remain anonymous. The Guardian reported the find on Sunday.

“It’s a full script: beginning, middle, end,” Abrams told BBC radio. “As to whether that was the final one, we can’t say.”

Abrams added that there was enough material to make a film, but “whether it would fit Stanley Kubrick’s vision, that’s a whole other matter….You 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.”

Kubrick and Willingham worked together again in 1957 on the anti-war film “Paths of Glory,” starring Kirk Douglas and based on the Humphrey Cobb novel.

Burning Secret” has been adapted for the big screen before, first in 1933 as an Austrian-German film from Robert Siodmak. An English-language picture followed in 1988.

The latter was directed by Kubrick’s assistant Andrew Birkin from Birkin’s own screenplay and starred Faye Dunaway and David Eberts. Variety described it as an “intriguing story of a mother’s near-adultery as seen through the impressionable eyes of her 12-year-old son,” and Eberts went on to win a Young Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.

More Film

  • The Woolsy fire burns a home

    Malibu Fire Victims Vow to Rebuild as Real Estate Prices Hold

    Malibu’s reputation as paradise took a beating in 2018. More than 450 homes were destroyed in the city limits during November’s Woolsey Fire, as were 750 or so more residences in the surrounding county. Heaviest hit was the region’s western edge. “Although the fire has shaken the community, people are reenergized and those who lost [...]

  • Ready Player One

    'Ready Player One’ Juxtaposes Real, Virtual Via VFX From Three Shops

    Director Steven Spielberg set an ambitious goal for himself and his “Ready Player One” VFX team: weaving viewers in and out of a virtual world within the storytelling parameters of a traditional film. The movie, released by Warner Bros. in March, is one of five up for a visual effects Oscar this year. To adapt Ernest [...]

  • Ludwig Göransson Talks 'Black Panther,' Childish

    Composer Ludwig Göransson on 'Black Panther' Music, Childish Gambino and Danny Elfman

    Ludwig Göransson is fairly new to the music-for-screens game, but it surprised no one when his score for the billion-dollar “Black Panther” — a deft swirl of blockbuster orchestra, hip-hop and authentic Africana — prompted his first Oscar nomination (and three Grammys on Feb. 10). The Swedish composer spoke to Variety in the midst of [...]

  • Awards Season Red Carpet jewelry

    A Look at Awards Show Jewelry: Bolder and Brighter

    After last year’s Golden Globes “blackout” to support women’s equality and a more muted awards season, brighter fashion and bolder jewelry are back on the scene. From stacks of bracelets to glitzy hair clips all in millions of dollars in diamonds, here’s how this year’s contenders have been upping their jewelry game. Diamond Drop Necklaces [...]

  • Rick Caruso

    How Rick Caruso's Vision and Philanthropy Are Shaping L.A.

    Rick Caruso says he builds for the next 100 years. The Westside Los Angeles-based real estate developer and billionaire is the force behind the Grove, the Americana at Brand, the Commons at Calabasas, Palisades Village and the recently opened Rosewood Miramar Beach resort in Montecito. He is being honored by Variety with the Power of [...]

  • The Wife - Production & Publicity

    Oscar Wilde Awards Continues Tradition of Honoring Creative Visionaries

    The 2019 recipients of the Oscar Wilde Award, now in its 14th year, amply embody the values of sponsoring organization the U.S.-Ireland Alliance, created by Trina Vargo “with a vision,” as she puts it, “of making an old relationship contemporary, and inclusive.” Slated to be feted on Feb. 21 at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot HQ [...]

  • Rami Malek Marina de Tavira Bradley

    Listen: Conversations With This Year's Spirit and Oscar Nominees

    PLAYBACK is a Variety / iHeartRadio podcast bringing you conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films. New episodes air every Thursday. The film awards season finally comes to an end this weekend with the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the 91st Academy Awards. Here at “Playback” we’ve spoken to a number of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content