Stanley Kubrick’s lost screenplay for Burning Secret has recently been found by Kubrick expert and film professor Nathan Abrams, who was shocked that he found it. The Burning Secret screenplay and its existence has been a great source of debate between hardcore Stanley Kubrick fans for decades. Kubrick is one of the most iconic directors in history, so to find this lost screenplay nearly 20 years after his death is pretty amazing. The screenplay for Burning Secret is said to be nearly complete and could even be developed into a future movie.
Burning Secret is an adaptation of the 1913 novella by the Viennese writer Stefan Zweig. According to a new report, Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of the story featured adultery and passion set in a spa resort, where a “suave and predatory man befriends a 10-year old boy.” The man then uses him to seduce the young boy’s married mother. It’s easy to see why the film wasn’t green lit by MGM in 1956. However, the director was able to pull off a similar story (but opposite) with Lolita, just 6 years after.
Stanley Kubrick wrote Burning Secret in 1956 with the novelist Calder Willingham. The two later went on to collaborate again on Paths of Glory the following year. Nathan Abrams, who discovered the lost screenplay noted that many Kubrick fans have gone back and forth over the years about whether or not it was complete. However, Abrams can now prove that it was actually finished. He explains.
“Kubrick aficionados know he wanted to do it, (but) no one ever thought it was completed. We now have a copy and this proves that he had done a full screenplay.”
Stanley Kubrick’s Burning Secret screenplay has the stamp of the script department of MGM and it is dated October 24th, 1956, which is before the director was a household name. At the time, Kubrick had just made his heist film, The Killing. In addition to the taboo material in the screenplay, it is believed that MGM cancelled the project after learning that Kubrick was working on Paths of Glory, which would have violated his contract. Another popular theory is that the studio just didn’t feel that the Burning Secret screenplay would have made a good movie.
Now that Stanley Kubrick’s Burning Secret screenplay has been found, it’s only a matter of time before a director steps up to develop it into a movie. Nathan Abrams says that the screenplay is over 100 pages and he believes that it’s complete enough for a new director to tackle the project. As to how Abrams discovered the lost screenplay, he found it while researching his new book entitled, Eyes Wide Shut: Stanley Kubrick and the Making of His Final Film. Apparently, the Burning Secret screenplay is owned by the son of one of Kubrick’s former collaborators. You can read more about the discovery of the lost Stanley Kubrick screenplay over at The Guardian.