Caras, Roger

Caras, Roger
   The Columbia Pictures publicist for DR. STRANGELOVE, Roger Caras later managed STANLEY KUBRICK’s independent production company, Hawk Films, and served as director of publicity for 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. “After 2001 he launched out into production” on his own, Julian Senior, who replaced him as director of publicity on Kubrick’s films, told MICHAEL CIMENT. “Caras had such a remarkable gift for organization that it satisfied even Stanley. ” Caras is credited with recommending British science fiction writer ARTHUR C. CLARKE, whom he had known since 1959, to Kubrick as coauthor of the screenplay for 2001. Since Clarke’s following was chiefly in Britain, Kubrick was not familiar with his work.
   According to VINCENT LOBRUTTO, Caras said to Kubrick, “Why not get the best—Arthur C. Clarke?”Kubrick countered that he understood that Clarke was a recluse living in a tree somewhere in the Far East. Caras replied that Clarke lived in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) because he preferred the climate. With Kubrick’s approval, Caras cabled Clarke in Ceylon to inform him that Kubrick was interested in working with him on a film about extraterrestrials: “Are you interested? Query: Thought you were a recluse. Stop. ” Clarke cabled back: “Frightfully interested in working with enfant terrible. Stop. What makes Kubrick think I’m a recluse? Query?”
   The canny Caras intuited that Kubrick and Clarke would make a good match. Both were solitary by nature and both had strong personalities. “Arthur has a tremendous ego,” Caras told Piers Bizony; “he takes pride in what he’s done. I’ve never seen Arthur take a back seat to anybody his entire life, except for Stanley. But I believe Stanley was also very impressed by Arthur. When those two were together, bouncing ideas off each other, it was like watching two intellectual duelists. ”
   John Baxter correctly comments that had Caras suggested Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, or some other science fiction writer, 2001 would have been a different movie. But Clarke shared Kubrick’s vision of science “as savior of mankind and of mankind as a race of potential gods destined for the stars,” as science fiction writer BRIAN ALDISS states in Baxter’s Kubrick biography. In sum,Roger Caras was responsible for bringing together two artists for one of the genuinely legendary collaborations of director and screenwriter in cinema history.
   ■ Baxter, John, Stanley Kubrick: A Biography (New York: Carroll and Graf, 1997);
   ■ Bizony, Piers, 2001: Filming the Future, rev. ed. (London: Aurum, 2000);
   ■ LoBrutto,Vincent, Stanley Kubrick:A Biography (New York: Da Capo, 1999).

The Encyclopedia of Stanley Kubrick. . 2002.

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