Written in the 50s, Burning Secret was to be an “inverse of Lolita” according to film academics. “In Burning Secret, the main character befriends the son to get to the mother,” said Nathan Abrams, the professor at Bangor University, who discovered the script. “In Lolita, he marries the mother to get to the daughter. I think that with the 1956 production code, that would be a tricky one to get by. But he managed with Lolita in 1962 — only just.”
The plot is based on Stefan Zweig’s short novel with the same title. Indiewire reports that Abraham has previously suggested that MGM decided against the film, probably because of the disturbing relationship between the protagonist and the child. “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.”
It’s predicted to be sold for $20,000 at the auction on November 20. However, since the screenplay was written there’ve been a couple of remakes of the same novella which may impact its price. Kubrick’s assistant Andrew Birkin made an adaption in 1988, for example.
It is unknown whether the owner could actually make a new posthumous Kubrick release. There are some issues with ownership given that MGM has changed hands since the filmmaker submitted this script. Representatives at the studio told Deadline that the company is “reviewing the matter internally”.
Watch the trailer for the 80s film of the same ilk below.