- According to Keir Dullea (Dave Bowman), Nigel Davenport and Martin Balsam were hired and later replaced before Douglas Rain finally landed the role of HAL. Nigel Davenport was actually was on-set in England during filming, reading HAL's lines off-camera so that Dullea and Gary Lockwood could react to them. Apparently, Kubrick thought that Davenport's English accent was too distracting, so after a few weeks he dismissed him and for the remainder of the shoot HAL's lines were read by an assistant director who, according to Dullea, had a cockney accent so thick that lines like "Better take a stress pill, Dave" came out like "Better tyke a stress pill, Dyve". Later Martin Balsam was hired and recorded HAL's voice in New York but again when Kubrick heard his lines he wasn't satisfied so he finally got Douglas Rain to re-record everything during post production. For the sequel, Peter Hyams' 2010 (1984), the opposite process was used: Douglas Rain recorded all of HAL's dialogue during pre-production prior to principal photography. That's why, to this day, Keir Dullea and Douglas Rain have never actually spoken directly to each other or met in person.
- Stanley Kubrick initially approached Arthur C. Clarke by saying that he wanted to make "the proverbial good science-fiction movie". Clarke suggested that "The Sentinel", a short story he wrote in 1948, story would provide a suitable premise. Clarke had written the story for a BBC competition, but it didn't even make the shortlist. "The Sentinel" corresponds only to the relatively short part of the movie that takes place on the moon.
- The screenplay was written primarily by Kubrick and the novel primarily by Clarke, each working simultaneously and also providing feedback to the other. As the story went through many revisions, changes in the novel were taken over into the screenplay and vice versa. It was also unclear whether film or novel would be released first; in the end it was the film. Kubrick was to have been credited as second author of the novel, but in the end was not. It is believed that Kubrick deliberately withheld his approval of the novel as to not hurt the release of the film.
- Kubrick planned to have Alex North (who wrote the score for Kubrick's Spartacus (1960)) write a musical score especially for the film. During filming, Kubrick played classical music on the set to create the right mood. Delighted with the effect, he decided to use classical music in the finished product. North's score has subsequently been released as "Alex North's 2001" (Varese/Sarabande 5400).
- Douglas Rain (the voice of HAL) never visited the set.
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