Stanley Kubrick’s letter to IBM regarding HAL


Two years before Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey [1. My favorite movie] was released, Stanley wrote to then vice president of Polaris Productions, Roger Caras, to ask if IBM is OK with HAL’s murderous acts:

“Does I. B. M. know that one of the main themes of the story is a psychotic computer? I don’t want to get anyone in trouble, and I don’t want them to feel they have been swindled. Please give me the exact status of things with I. B. M.”

Caras wrote back to say that the company was OK, as long as it wasn’t portrayed as having been an advisor on HAL’s construction:

“IBM’s position is that if IBM is not associated with the quipment failure by name they have no objection if it is decided to give screen credit to the advising companies (and I hope you do decide to do this) they will not object to getting screen credit as long as their name is buried in a list with others and they are not specifically listed as being technical advisor for [HAL].”

It has long been speculated that HAL represents IBM. I don’t believe that. IBM’s logo does appear in the film, though not in association with HAL.

[Via The Loop]