1995’s Babe, you may recall, didn’t just prove to be a box office hit, it also got nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The project was overseen by Mad Max helmer George Miller, who would himself direct the notorious sequel, Babe: Pig In The City.
But for a while, Miller was struggling with the technology to get Babe himself to speak in the movie, and in the quest for an answer he ended up in the UK, about 30 miles from Stanley Kubrick‘s home.
In a 2016 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Miller revealed that he tried to get Kubrick to check out a firm called Quantel in Newbury, to try and crack the problem. In the end, Kubrick couldn’t go, as his daughter gave birth to his grandchild a day or two before he was due there.
But still, Miller revealed that he and Kubrick talked “endlessly” on the phone “every night.”
“I explained we’re trying to make a pig talk,” Miller recalled. “He was particularly caught up with the technology of not cutting on videotape. But he was one of those people who just kind of sucked in the world by conversations. Every night, we’d sit and talk for a long, long time and talk about the process and I knew he was very, very intrigued about what could be happening.”
Miller also revealed that the late Kubrick had people reading things for him, without knowing it was him. “So if he heard of a novel, he would send it out to people. I think he did it through newspaper ads at the time. And he would send it out to people and ask for a kind of synopsis or a critique of the novel. And he would read those. And it was done anonymously.”
“But he said there were housewives and there were barristers and all sorts of people doing that,” Miller added. “And I thought, yeah, that’s a really good way to open up the possibilities. Because otherwise, you’re randomly looking [for material], walking through a bookstore or an airport.”