inter16Preview: The Potential of “Interstellar”

“Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.”  That’s the tagline for Christopher Nolan’s next film “Interstellar.” Under Nolan’s direction we have seen some great work. He redefined a world renowned modern myth with the Batman franchise, he advocated practical effects in “Inception,” and he played mind games with the audience with “The Prestige” and “Memento.”That’s a pretty impressive resumé. So it isn’t doubtful that his next film should be one to watch out for.

“Interstellar” sports a wide-ranged cast of acting veterans, including Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway, 2-time Oscar winner Michael Caine, 2-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, all lead by last year’s lead actor Oscar winner – Matthew McConaughey.

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The premise for “Interstellar” was conceived by long-time friends film producer Lynda Obst and theoretical physicist Kip Thorne. Based on Thorne’s work, the premise originally attracted Steve Spielberg’s interest. The film began development in June 2006 as Spielberg and Paramount Pictures announced that they were working on a science fiction film based on Thorne’s treatment.

In March 2007 Jonathan Nolan was hired to write a screenplay. To help him learn more about the subject matter he studied relativity at the California Institute of Technology. In January 2013 Christopher Nolan entered negotiations with Paramount and Warner Bros. to direct the film.  Nolan wanted to write a screenplay that would merge his ideas with his brother’s script.

March 2013 Christopher Nolan was confirmed as director and immediately went to work. Working cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, “Interstellar” was filmed with anamorphic 35mm and IMAX film photography.

The Wall Street Journal reported, “The famously secretive filmmaker has gone to extreme lengths to guard the script..” For security purposes “Interstellar” was filmed under the name “Flora’s Letter.” The teaser trailer didn’t touch much on the plot, but some say it got the point across emotionally more so than the usual teaser trailer.

Christopher Nolan is continuing his long-time collaboration with composer Hans Zimmer. Zimmer said that Nolan didn’t give him a script or any plot details for writing the music, instead he gave him “one page of text” that “had more to do with (Zimmer’s) story than the plot of the movie.”

The story follows Cooper, a father who must leave his family behind to explore the use of a newly discovered wormhole so that mankind may surpass the limitations of space travel. The interior story is covered in the tagline “Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.” It may not be any times soon, but one day Earth won’t be able to support life, will our species still survive? Will we have advanced far along enough in technology to avoid extinction? These are complex themes that “Interstellar” is diving into, our only hope is that the movie paces alongside these themes.

MATT620_1979912aPROS:

– Writer/Director Christopher Nolan has an impressive resumé.
–  Matthew McConaughey in the lead role alongside a great supporting cast.
– Intriguing and complex premise.
– Deep teaser trailer
– Hoyte Van Hoytema has a strong resumé as well including “Her,”Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” and “Let the Right One In.”
– Co-writer Jonathan Nolan did his homework. The collaboration of actual theoretical physicist Kip Thorne can’t hurt either.

CONS: 

– Treads the line of feel-good with films like “Super 8,” Close Encounters,” and “ET” which can be done very well, but the emulation hasn’t worked well for many films in the past.
– Could be too political or preachy. Some concerns were raised about the trailers implication that food had run out, or that crops wouldn’t grow. Even if this is the case, as long as the film doesn’t try to force a message down our throat, then it shouldn’t be a problem.
– Christopher Nolan films are great, but he has never had the best. His films usual bag some technical Oscars, but his films haven’t won an above-the-line Oscar except for Heath Ledger in supporting actor for “The Dark Knight.”

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