Interstellar boasts the immediate selling point of being the new film from Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception director Chris Nolan – but it also has the benefit of having Matthew McConaughey as a leading man fresh off his Oscar win, as well as an acclaimed performance in TV’s first 2014 cultural fixation, True Detective. Like all Nolan films, the mystery surrounding this project has been thick; we heard early on that it was about wormhole theory, that it would also be grounded in an environmental story, and the new Interstellar trailer seems to confirm all of that.

The story centers on “Coop” (McConaughey), a curious duck of a character – farmer, father, engineer, pilot, apparent scientific genius – who is recruited by a scientist (Michael Caine) to accompany another astronaut (Anne Hathaway) on an imperative mission across a vast distance of space (and time?), in order to somehow solve the dire problem of Earth’s dwindling food supply.

Ultimately, this trailer is the same mixed bag that comes with every second trailer for a Nolan movie: we got a little bit more than the nothing we knew before, but this is still only a set up, a premise, with much of the more extensive explanations and story arcs left until the release of trailer #3. In this case, Interstellar trailer #2 plays much like 1997 film Contact (which also starred McConaughey, ironically enough), in that it looks to be an Earth-bound dramatic dilemma that culminates in a fantastical space journey. The question is: what’s the ratio between Earth drama and space travel; how much actual interstellar travel will we see?

It’s a valid question when dealing with a director who is pronounced in his preference for practical effects over CGI – in an era where a CGI space film like Gravity is the new standard for wowing audiences. Then again, Nolan is also a director who is just as pronounced in his penchant for non-linear narrative; just because this trailer plays in linear, crescendo fashion does not at all mean the film is cut that way. Coop could already be on the other side of the universe when the movie starts, and those all-American heartland scenes could be spliced in as memories, flashbacks, etc. You never know.

Interstellar will be in theaters on November 7, 2014.

Source: Warner Bros.