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...
SPOILERS FOR INTERSTELLAR AHEAD!
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).
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.