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.)
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