Researchers combing through the volumes of papers of novelist Anthony Burgess have discovered a screenplay he had written adapting his most famous novel, A Clockwork Orange. The 1962 novel was turned into a movie by the legendary director Stanley Kubrick, but it appears as if the newly discovered script is from an early part of the development of that project.
Burgess and Kubrick had collaborated on the film project, though Kubrick is the one who received screen credit for the screenplay about a teenage gang leader in a lawless society.
According to Dr Andrew Biswell, the author’s biographer and the director of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Burgess’ screenplay is noteworthy as it is –
– very different from the novel… It’s actually quite a bit more violent than the novel. There’s a scene early on where Alex opens his bedroom cupboard and it’s full of drugs, hypodermic needles and a child’s skull.
Apparently Kubrick rejected Burgess’ script and proceeded to pen one of his own. The irony here is that the final film was loudly criticized for its violent content at the time of its release, leading Kubrick to withdraw the film after just a few weeks.
The Burgess Foundation is hoping to publish the screenplay at some point.
Other scripts discovered in the archives include a previously unknown draft for Kubrick’s long in-development Napoleon bio-pic and a portion of a stage show about Harry Houdini that Burgess was developing with Orson Welles.