Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ Begins Filming; Plot Synopsis and Cast Revealed

Published 2 years ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 6:04 pm,

Dark Knight Rises Christopher Nolan Christopher Nolans Interstellar Begins Filming; Plot Synopsis and Cast Revealed

What do you do, after turning the comic book movie genre on its head and delivering one of the most successful trilogies in film history? Head to outer space, that’s what! At least, that is what filmmaker Christopher Nolan is doing with his followup to his The Dark Knight trilogy: a sci-fi project known as Interstellar, which is based on a script that Jonathan Nolan initially conceived and put together for Steven Spielberg to direct. Some years thereafter, Chris Nolan retooled his brother’s draft – so as to incorporate his own idea into the script – and, today, will begin shooting the motion picture for release in 2014.

This being a Chris Nolan production, the plot details for Interstellar has largely been kept under-wraps – save for the common knowledge that the Nolan brothers will be taking their sci-fi cues from the wormhole and time-travel concepts that’ve been proposed by the celebrated theoretical physicist Kip Thorne (who is serving as both a consultant and executive producer on the project). Meanwhile, over the last few weeks there’ve been a number of supporting cast announcements made, but little to no official information provided about the characters in the film.

While the press release affirming that Interstellar has begun principal photography in Alberta, Canada – with Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. splitting up the domestic/international theatrical distribution duties – does not shed light on the many players in the Nolan siblings’ latest collaboration, it does provide a vague, yet intriguing, plot summary/synopsis:

Directed and co-written by Christopher Nolan (“Inception,” “The Dark Knight” Trilogy), the production will travel the globe and utilize a mixture of 35mm anamorphic and IMAX film photography to bring to the screen a script based on the combination of an original idea by Nolan and an existing script by Jonathan Nolan, originally developed for Paramount Pictures and producer Lynda Obst. The new script chronicles the adventures of a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.

Interstellar‘s primary cast includes Matthew McConaughey (Mud), Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises) and Oscar-nominee Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), in addition to important supporting players and character actors like Bill Irwin (Rachel Getting Married), Casey Affleck (Out of the Furnace), John Lithgow (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games), David Oyelowo (Jack Reacher), David Gyasi (Cloud Atlas) and Topher Grace (Spider-Man 3) – and, of course, what Christopher Nolan film would be complete without Michael Caine as a cast member? (Yes, we’re aware that he wasn’t in the director’s first three movies – Following, Memento and Insomnia.)

Inception production still 19 Christopher Nolans Interstellar Begins Filming; Plot Synopsis and Cast Revealed

Leonardo DiCaprio and Marion Cotillard in ‘Inception’

The casting of supporting actresses who occupy opposite ends of the age spectrum – between 12-year-old Mackenzie Foy (The Conjuring) and 80-year-old Ellen Burstyn (Requiem for a Dream) – coupled with the “human space travel” storyline, suggests that Interstellar might have different people playing the same character at various ages. There’ve long been rumors floating around online that this was the case in Jonathan Nolan’s earlier script draft – many of which have gained additional credibility, after studio requests for the content to be taken down (for example, see this AICN article posted earlier this year).

It would certainly make sense for the Nolan siblings to examine the effects of time, space and relativity on everyday human life, in the context of a narrative like that which is teased in the official press release. Case in point: Chris Nolan’s Inception combines heady sci-fi notions with blockbuster spectacle in order to tell a personal story – much like Interstellar producer Lynda Obst’s similar previous sci-fi project co-starring McConaughey (Contact) – so it’s reasonable to assume Nolan’s journey into the outer reaches of space will, likewise, be grounded (pun intended) by more relatable human drama.

On a final note, here’s a list of the people that Nolan will collaborate with behind the camera and during post-production on Interstellar:

The behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Hoyte van Hoytema (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” “The Fighter”), Academy Award®-nominated production designer Nathan Crowley (“The Dark Knight” Trilogy), Academy Award®-nominated costume designer Mary Zophres (“Gangster Squad,” “True Grit”) Academy Award®-nominated editor Lee Smith “The Dark Knight” Trilogy,” “Elysium,”), Academy Award®-winning composer Hans Zimmer (“The Lion King,” “The Dark Knight” Trilogy), and Academy Award®-winning visual effects supervisor Paul Franklin (“Inception,” “The Dark Knight” Trilogy).


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

Source: Paramount Pictures

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  1. I cannot WAIT…more Nolan, unobstructed by franchise considerations, opens up so many brilliant and wonderful possibilities…and THIS film sounds great so far.

    • I agree completely, Archaeon.

    • Just out of curiosity what franchise considerations was he obstructed by?

      • By that, I simply mean that Nolan had to take take into account the world of Batman (the previously established characters, settings, etc.) when making the DK trilogy. He did an excellent job, I feel, and came up with a magnificent celebration of the Batman universe. However, when Nolan does NOT have to worry about someone else’s creation, we get “Memento”, “The Prestige”, and “Inception”…”Interstellar” seems like it will be just as creatively amazing as those three films.

        • I agree, although The Prestige was an adaptation from the novel of the same name, I believe.

          • You’re right…I had forgotten that. Still, my point stands with the other two :)

    • good lord!

      I knew the cast was great, but the creative team??!!!!??? HOLY **************!

      Nolan’s got his A team together…. every one step back and get ready.

  2. Don’t worry Nolan. By next year McConaughey will be an Oscar nominee/winner so you’ll be able to say that with Hathaway and Chastain.

    Hopefully you’ll get some much deserved recognition with this in 2014. Will never forgive the Academy for not even nominating The Dark Knight when it easily should have won.

    • McConaughel was brilliant in Mud!

      • He sure was. Him and the main kid were amazing. McConaughey’s still got both The Wolf of Wall Street and Dallas Buyers Club. I mean the guy could possibly get a double nomination this year with Best Actor for Dallas Buyers Club and then Supporting Actor for either Mud or The Wolf of Wall Street.

        • Tye Sheridan is a natural born actor.
          The kid was genuinely brilliant in Mud.

      • Truly, he was.

        • Mud is my favorite film of the year, both sheriden and mathew were outstanding. I will watch any movie directed by jeff nichols, since both shotgun stories and take shelter were very good. I wouldnt be suprised if mud was in the top 3 of all year by the end

          • It’s near the top for me too. One of the
            very best of the year. Maybe the best.

  3. Yeah, definitely looking forward to this one. Ellen Burstyn in a Chris Nolan film? That sounds awesome.

  4. Cannot wait for this movie, one of my most anticipated movies of 2014. Who else thinks this can be up for an Oscar? Cause with a cast like that and a script by the Nolan brothers, it’s hard to think otherwise.

  5. I am definitely more interested than I was before now that I know that Jonathan Nolan is involved. Christopher Nolan’s film-making prowess is impressive when it comes to pure cinematography, but in my opinion his solo endeavours in the storytelling department (see “Inception”) were a step below his other films where his brother was on plot duties.

      • See, you’re operating under the assumption that I said it’s a bad movie. I didn’t. It’s a very good movie, but a lot more linear than a lot of his non-franchise movies and a lot less daring in the storytelling department, no matter how fun the dream mechanics were. It was a really entertaining flick, but nowhere near as good as The Prestige or Memento, at least in my opinion. If you have different tastes, I absolutely respect that. I’m just saying that to ME, in a completely personal light, those are masterpieces, while Inception is “just” really good.

        • It’s OK, Kenji, Nolan-salad-tossers are just easily butt-hurt when someone doesn’t worship their guy.

  6. the cast is amazing cant wait for this one

  7. I was surprised at the McConaughey casting initially.
    Before seeing Mud which changed my mind about him.
    Interstellar is looking great and I’m expecting greatness.

  8. I like Nolan & think his ideas are refreshing in comparison to garbage made for the big screen nowadays. The problem is that his films are too realistic for a surreal landscape. Dreams are spontaneous drifts across one’s subconscious, however Inception had a bit if a linear point of view in terms of imagination. Same thing bothered me with TDK trilogy. Chris should really try stepping out of the box for this one… I’m looking forward to it though.

  9. This sounds great.

    It “should” gain him an Oscar nomination (preferably a win) but we all know the Academy will overlook him for some other crap.

  10. Meh…….

    It kind of sounds like an average science fiction movie to me. I’ll wait until the trailers show up before I get excited for this one. I would have much rather had the project stay with Steven Spielberg.

    • Most movies sound like average science fiction though, the magic is in the writing, the directing and the acting.

      Moon could’ve been a massive letdown but Jones’ directing, the coherence in the plot and Rockwell’s stellar performance really helped that movie become a modern classic.

      • “the magic is in the writing, the directing and the acting.”
        Lol. Hearing you say this makes me laugh. When you praise all the garbage Marvel puts out, do you notice any of these in their films? Horrible acting, writing and directing. But the comedy is superb! Am I right? Lol.

        • Yes, Jessie, Marvel films are sorely lacking in the expository dialogue Nolan’s films need because he’s SUCH a great storyteller.

          • Uhhh yes, Nolan is a great storyteller. In fact he’s one of the best we have in the industry today.

            • Top five

          • Yep exposition is how he writes we get it but it works for his films

  11. Was interested until I heard Matthew McConaughey was in it. I’ll still give it a shot though. Nolan usually delivers a good story on Solo runs.

    • Have you seen The Lincoln Lawyer, Bernie, Magic Mike, Killer Joe, or Mud? He was fantastic in all these latest films with him, giving Oscar level performances in Magic Mike, Killer Joe, and Mud. At least imho even though he didn’t get any nominations.

      • Look out for him in the Wolf of Wall Street, I think he’s going to tear it up, along with DiCaprio.

        • Totally agree with you. I love what Leo does, but i feel like McConaughey’s gonna be a scene stealer in it. Which once again will prevent Leo from getting that golden statue he more than deserves.

      • yes, he was especially fantastic in Mud!

  12. God damn it, Topher Grace, why do you have the ability to show up in movies I don’t want you to be in!?

  13. okay, I get it! it’s going to be “original”. that synopsis sure made this clear, if nothing else 😀

  14. Is Marion Cotillard (Academy Award winner) dumped after the death scene in Rises?

    I’m so sad that Cillian Murphy is not appearing in this one – uncredited cameo?

    • He’ll show up as Scarecrow in one scene.

  15. Can’t wait. Inception is so good, put that with sci-fi, this could be amazing.

  16. “and Toper Grace (Spider-Man 3)”

    (A typo, still, but I want to go on record and say he’s…)
    my second favorite person with that name, the first one beeing Toper Harley. 😉

  17. Whatever movie this dude makes, I am there. Oh, and love real imax action!!!

  18. The Dark Knight Rises made me stop hating Anne Hathaway for her “ghetto voice” in Havoc. Curious to see what the end result of Interstellar will be.

  19. I’m loving about half of that cast. Not sure about some others in there but the main actors should be great. Can’t wait. :)

  20. Well now, this one actually might be a movie worth a watch. I will give it a peek.

  21. Can’t wait to see. Will be a doozy. Love his brainy movies.

  22. Plot certainly sounds interesting, but under the direction and supervision of the Nolan boys, I’m expecting nothing short of greatness. The cast is fantastic, no doubt, and I’m hoping this is a great and original sci-fi film.

    • Yep…exactly, ezra.

  23. “The new script chronicles the adventures of a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an INTERSTELLAR voyage.”

    My inner Peter Griffin: “Ah! They said the title!”

  24. I’m a huge fan of Matthew McConaughey, awesome choice for lead role, I think he’s a massively underrated actor, Cant wait for this!

  25. pretty sure the same WB execs that flog much of what’s left of film making originality will be publicly high fiving and back slapping themselves after this one debuts successfully. just like they did with Inception.

  26. Something to look forward to

  27. Very excited for this. Nolan’s Inception was brilliant and I have high hopes for this too.

  28. In the words of Bart Scott, “CAN’T WAIT!”

    On a sidenote, I’m wondering how much involvement he’ll actually have in MoS2.