A professor at Bangor university claims to have uncovered a screenplay written by Stanley Kubrick in 1956, which has long been thought to have been lost.
The script, entitled Burning Secret, was written in collaboration with the novelist Calder Willingham, whom Kubrick also wrote Paths of Glory with.
It was discovered by Nathan Abrams, a film professor at Bangor University and a Kubrick expert, while researching his next book, Eyes Wide Shut: Stanley Kubrick and the Making of his Final Film, which will be published by Oxford University Press next year.
Abrams has said that that the script is over 100 pages long and believes it could still be made into a feature film. “It’s a full screenplay so could be completed by film-makers today," he told The Guardian.
"Kubrick aficionados know he wanted to do it, [but] no one ever thought it was completed. We now have a copy and this proves that he had done a full screenplay.”
The script is an adaptation of the 1913 novella by Stefan Zweig, which sees a suave older man befriend a lonely young boy at a holiday resort in order to become closely acquainted with the boy's mother.
It was thought to have been shelved when it was discovered that Kubrick was also working on Paths of Glory, and thus in breach of his contract with MGM for Burning Secret.
However, Abrams believes it was probably abandoned due to its controversial nature. The idea of a film focusing on an adulterous relationship inadvertently induced by a 10-year old boy would have "been considered too risque".
Abrams expanded on the controversies within the plot, as he stated: “The child acts as an unwitting go-between for his mother and her would-be lover, making for a disturbing story with sexuality and child abuse churning beneath its surface.”
The film was described by Abrams as an inversion of Lolita, Kubrick's contentious 1962 film based on the 1955 novel by Vladimir Nabokov, which sees a French literature professor marry a widow because he is infatuated with her teenage daughter.
Burning Secret would have been Kubrick's second feature film had it been produced at the time, as the young director had only one limited release under his belt, The Killing.
Kubrick died in March 1999, aged 70. Over the course of his career, spanning four decades, he went on to make 13 feature films, many of which have gone on to be viewed as some of cinema's greatest: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), The Shining (1980) and the epic starring Kirk Douglas, Spartacus (1960).
This is not the first piece of old Kubrick material to re-emerge. An unearthed interview with Kubrick, first recorded in 1980, recently revealed the true meaning of the final scene in his acclaimed space drama 2001: A Space Odyssey, 50 years after the film's first release.