It has been 60 years since Stanley Kubrick created an adaptation of Stefan Zweig's 1913 novella.
After being deemed too risqué by Hollywood and hidden away in the drawer of an unidentified collaborator, Burning Secret — a haunting story of adultery, sexuality, and child abuse—has finally re-surfaced, and is ready to be made into a film.
Just like Paths of Glory and Eyes Wide Shut, it's no surprise that Kubrick's Burning Secret was deemed too controversial. It tells the story of a young, handsome man who sets his predatorial eyes on a fellow guest at an isolated spa retreat. This hunt soon turns into an obsession and, in an attempt to seduce her by any means necessary, the protagonist befriends the woman's 10-year-old son who unwittingly acts as a go-between for his mother and her lover.
Kubrick expert and professor of film at Bangor University, Nathan Abrams, found the script while doing research for his upcoming book Eyes Wide Shut: Stanley Kubrick and the Making of His Final Film (2019: Oxford University Press). Among the admirers and film lovers who mourned the director's early death in 1999, Abrams emphasizes the significance of this discovery. "I couldn't believe it. It's so exciting. It was believed to have been lost," he told The Guardian. "Kubrick aficionados knew he wanted to do it, [but] no one ever thought it was completed."
With the help of novelist Calder Willingham, over 100 pages were written for the newly discovered script. To the delight of Kubrick fans everywhere, this is more than enough for filmmakers to put Burning Secret on the screen.