‘Interstellar’ Now Filming in Iceland; New Details for Christopher Nolan’s Sci-Fi Film

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christopher nolan interstellar Interstellar Now Filming in Iceland; New Details for Christopher Nolans Sci Fi Film

Iceland is the preferred shooting location for sci-fi and fantasy projects nowadays (see: Prometheus, Game of Thrones), so it should come as little surprise to learn that Christopher Nolan is filming part of his galactic adventure Interstellar in the country. Production has moved there following a quick couple weeks of principal photography in Canada, where unofficial set photos and details revealed the environmental crisis that (seemingly) motivates humanity to push the limits of human space travel and take a trip through a wormhole.

Primary Interstellar cast members Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway will be joined by Matt Damon for two weeks during the Iceland portion of filming, but as of right now there are no photos or images of Jason Bourne on the set of Nolan’s sci-fi motion picture. Fortunately, we have something more enticing to offer instead: new details about the set pieces being shot right now (and their implications for the film’s overarching narrative).

So far the only confirmed (read: official) details on Interstellar are that Jonathan Nolan’s script (with revisions by his big brother Chris) revolves around a mission to “conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage” via use of a newly-found distortion of space and time. It would seem that the reason for undertaking such an expedition is more complicated that a simple desire to boldly go where no man or woman has gone before, as natural resource supplies on Earth appear to have been largely depleted in the movie’s not-too-distant future setting (time to dust off those Mars colonization plans it seems).

Question is, will the space explorers in Interstellar encounter any extraterrestrial lifeforms, upon taking off to the stars? Nothing is certain yet, but the latest details may point towards the answer, so best that you don’t read ahead unless you’re okay with learning a handful of MILD SPOILERS about the film…






Matthew McConaughey Christo Interstellar Now Filming in Iceland; New Details for Christopher Nolans Sci Fi Film

Desde Hollywood has learned from a source that part of the Iceland shoot for Interstellar so far has involved a large-scale set piece in the shape of a spaceship crash, presumably created through elaborate practical effects means as that is C. Nolan’s modus operandi (see: the enormous rotating set that was built for the Inception hallway fight). In addition, models for “some sort of Drones” are said to have been constructed for the Iceland shoot.

There is no mention of whether the downed space vessel is of alien origins or the one used by the film’s intrepid human explorers; assuming the latter is the case, that could mean there will be some human casualties on the mission early on. (Could Damon essentially be a Red Shirt, who is killed during the crash arrival as a means of illustrating the direness of the situation, in a bit of Psycho-esque deceitful casting?) Similarly, the aforementioned “Drones” are open for speculation, as far as where they come from.

If that’s not enough, the report also includes the following intriguing detail:

A bigger aircraft will be featured. Something my source refers to as The Mother Ship.

Fortunately, this information hits that sweet spot between shedding too much light on the story and providing too little for making any reasonable guesses about the plot. The “Mother Ship” could just as well have been designed by people as it could by other-worldly visitors; not to mention, we have no idea yet whether Iceland is going to serve as the landscape for another planet or either somewhere on Earth in the past/future (see: where the main characters arrive shortly after they jump through the wormhole).

inception city curling Interstellar Now Filming in Iceland; New Details for Christopher Nolans Sci Fi Film

However, it’s best to not let your imagination wander too much, as far as what to expect from the Nolan brothers’ latest collaboration. For one, as was discussed on the Screen Rant Underground Podcast, C. Nolan frequently uses outlandish concepts – technology that allows people to enter others’ dreams, an emotionally-scarred billionaire who becomes a costumed vigilante – to tell much simpler and relatable human stories; in fact, his commitment to “realism” has fueled many of Nolan’s detractors, on the Dark Knight trilogy and Inception in particular.

This writer is willing to argue that Jonathan Nolan’s involvement with Interstellar bodes well in that regard, since he’s proven to be better than his brother at taking high-concepts and using them to explore relevant personal and social/political themes (see: his script work on The Prestige and writing for the TV series Person of Interest). Moreover, J. Nolan originally wrote Interstellar as a script for Steven Spielberg to direct; meaning, there could a more pronounced sense of wonder and discovery to the story than in his brother’s previous movies (think something closer to Close Encounters of the Third Kind than Inception).

Feel free to share your own thoughts and theories about the plot for Interstellar in the comments section below.


Interstellar opens in regular and select IMAX theaters on November 7th, 2014.

Source: Desde Hollywood [via Bleeding Cool]

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  1. Can’t wait.

  2. I’ll be fine with either trope: the encounter with a (likely technologically superior) alien species OR the solitude/intimacy of a human-centric mission. Both have been done quite successfully in science fiction movies (and even more in the novels, novellas, and short stories that usually inspire them) for a very long time. With the Nolan brothers working together again on “Interstellar” (as well as the cast and the actors’ interpretations of the material and their characters), I have no doubt that whether or not the human explorers(/saviors?) meet “others”, the story will play out in an extremely intriguing manner.


  3. Sigh…

    That SHOULD be:

    Carpe imaginatio.


  4. really looking forward to this one. with this being a nolan movie it’s difficult to imagine we’ll encounter actual aliens. perhaps an alien ship (long abandoned) but not the actual creatures. I might be wrong about that and on some level hope that I am.

  5. Man it’d be awesome if the Nolan’s could find a way to make use of E.T. lifeforms in a less cliche way as has often been done before.

    But consider this: if they’re going out to find fertile ground in use to grow recourses, doesn’t that mean the chance is extremely high that there is already life on said destination!? Usually, I’d assume if people can grow something somewhere, nature always beats them to it..

  6. With every little info we get, the more out of the box it sounds. Either way, I can’t wait for this movie, the Nolan brothers haven’t disappointed me yet!

    • +1

  7. I love it!

  8. I like Nolan and Iceland is a stunning landscape and I have no doubt Nolan will do it justice, but does anyone else find this location a bit uninspired.
    p.s This is not an attempt to give Nolaphiles a melt down. Just asking.

    • Iceland is good with me. Did you see Oblivion? It was also filmed in Iceland and I thought it looked stunning. Also that new Noah’s Ark movie is being filmed there. The set photos look great.

      • Yes I have seen all of these movies,That’s my point,the location is used to death.

        • Hmmm… are there other films made that were made in iceland that I’m not aware of? Cuz I’d hardly say the locale has been used to death after 2 movies.

          • yes, a lot, Do you want a list, Batman begins,prometheus,oblivion,star trek in to darkness,Thor the dark world,Noah,journey to the center of the earth,die another day.tomb raider. I could go on but my fingers are tired.

  9. I believe this to be a “unofficial” Duke Nukem movie. i recieved a synopsis stating that the character Matt Damon plays gets pissed when aliens shoot down his ship (ride) and retaliates.

    • No it Isn’t. It’s a film called ‘Interstellar’ It’s NOT a Duke Nukem film. This is an original film, NOT a video game film!

      • It’s defiantly in the same vein if not mostly directly referencing the game. Though its not an official Duke Nukem movie I think it’s safe to say that it will be an adaptation of one.

        • “Interstellar” is the name of the spaceship/station duke is on

          • WIll you just stop with the Duke Nukem crap?!

        • It’s NOT!

  10. Nolan… the director with Visual Effects laden films who thinks of VFX artists as nothing more than “VFX Monkeys”. No respect for the artists that collaborate on his films = no paying for his films.

    • Of course, you can provide sources where Nolan has indicated this attitude, right?

      Of course, you’re not merely being a troll?

  11. Know what it sounds like to me?

    They find a way to time travel and go into Earth’s past to mine resources for a barren world int he future, somehow becoming the myths and legends passed down for millenia in the process.

    • +100
      That really seems like something Nolan will do, and it’s a good idea.

    • I was about to point out that superluminal travel permits causality violations, so I think your speculation is very acute. It’s using a lesser known aspect of a science fiction trope, which sounds to me like just the sort of thing the Nolans would do.

  12. Defiantly a Duker

    • Again stop with the Duke Nukem crap. It’s NOT an adaptation of the video game. It’s an original sci-fi film for crying out loud!

  13. Christopher Nolan is one of the best directors working right now. He just needs to edit his films a bit better and leave out the irrelevant and boring parts. That being said, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and Inception are some of the best films of the past decade. This guy is very talented it’s just that the usually biased Academy won’t give him what he deserves

    • The “irrelevant and boring” parts are usually the most important things in a movie though. They give a break from the action and help explain characters, plot, motivations etc.

      • Yes ofc that,s true, but I don’t think even the most die hard Nolan fans would argue against the fact Nolans story telling tends to meander off course at times and he is the king of plot holes.

        • filmlover…

          I’ve heard that exact critique levelled at Nolan several times before. Invariably, when when one of these people attempts to provide evidence of said plot holes, it becomes amusingly obvious that the person missed something painfully clear or simply let some biases infect his thinking. Every director is guilty of SOME errors/plot holes/missed opportunities…even (some would say ESPECIALLY) the GREATS. Every Nolan film I have seen (and I have seen them all, to this point) has been well put-together. His more recent ones, of course, have been more polished than his earlier ones. As for the plot holes of which you say he is the king…I have observed very few things that could even be looked at as such. Maybe, you should watch his films again…?

          • I agree with this.

            I’ve seen people mention plot holes in Nolan movies, seen his movies again myself to see if I see these plot holes and find myself thinking “did these people get distracted and miss the obvious explanations here?”.

          • Ok using the term king was excessive and yes ofc every director has been guilty at some point of letting plot holes form in there movies, especially if your attempting to make something as complex as inception for example.(Plus I love Nolan) However that being said. If cobb new he was in limbo, why spend all that time implanting an idea in his wife’s head’ which later lead to some serious mental issues for that chick. why not just dream up a gun shoot the b**** in the face wake up,have a coffee, and go pick the kids up from school.
            p.s excuse the grammar I am horribly dyslexic.

            • Dude, the guy couldn’t even shoot her projection.

              I dont think it would’ve worked anyway without her realizing for herself that her world isnt real.

              • Just going by the rules which were quit clearly laid out in the movie,But if you don,t like that one, there,s a thousand less convoluted ways to deal with that situation, for example.cobb just kills himself,wakes up and kicks that miserable b**** in the face.

    • I agree, but you forgot to mention the gaping plot holes.

      • That’s because they are in your mind.

        • +1 to Archaeon

          Maybe if filmlover watched these movies again and paid attention throughout, the “gaping plot holes” he/she extolls in these comments would finally be explained without the rest of us having to explain them to him/her?

          • :D

          • Oh ofc your right its me I am just to intellectually challenged to understand it, anyone who has every noticed even the smallest crack in one of Nolans plots has just missed the point, how silly of me to not realize Nolan, unlike every other writer/film maker ever in the history of all time, has never made a mistake, god I feel so stupid.
            No your right dazz, I should not have blasphemed against the lord our movie god Nolan.

            • Oh and since I am so stupid, Will you please explain to me why no one in gotham felt the affects of the neurotoxin, in batman begins, oh that’s right you need to vaporize it for it to have any effect,
              but wait! wouldn’t that mean no one in gotham took a hot shower or made coffee in the weeks leading up to the attack,
              maybe they did not it’s possible right,
              but that does not explain why the giant vaporizing machine vaporized all the water in a two mile radius but did not cause harm to any human in its range, you know, cos we are 70% water. I mean science says under such conditions your cells would burst and you would pop like a balloon, but I am sure you know better than silly old science.

              • With TDKR, I don’t think it was plot holes that were Nolan’s mistake, I think it was inexperienced and/or lazy fight choreography/filming. If you watch the end fight scene again – all the extras in the background – it totally ruins the whole movie. For me, anyway. And I’m not Nolan bashing, he’s my fav film maker.

  14. i think this is actually an unofficial remake of a film called ‘Sphere’ with Dustin Hoffman and Sharon Stone

    • It’s NOT, Jar Jar.

  15. I think ‘Hail to the King’ would have been a better title.

  16. I was recently in Iceland and filming was occurring at the beach south of Jokulsarlon on the southern coast.