Comic Con: Interstellar trailer with Christopher Nolan
The Paramount panel on Thursday had its fair share of surprises, but none bigger than the Christopher Nolan's unannounced first ever appearance at San Diego Comic Con with a quick chat and brand new trailer for INTERSTELLAR.
First things first: you really just want to hear about the trailer, don’t you? Here's a quick breakdown of what it entailed:
It's very similar in structure to the last preview, beginning with narration by Matthew McConaughey lamenting Earth's current dire situation: "We used to look up; now we only look down and worry about the dust." There are some shots of the new dust bowl that's seemingly overtaken the Earth. There are dust storms, dead crops, people wearing masks—society is clearly in a bad place. McConaughey is approached by Michael Caine who asks him to lead a mission to presumably save the world. But this time the stakes are clear: the astronaut will have to leave his two children behind with no guarantee of ever seeing them again. Similar to the other trailer, he hugs his crying daughter and says "I'm coming back. I love you forever."
Here is where the new footage kicks in and it's a montage of beautiful shots of space—planetary rings, colorful cosmic panoramas—all presumably presented in IMAX. We get some looks at his fellow astronauts Anne Hathaway and Wes Bentley. There are shots of them walking around the surface of another planet, one that looks similar to some of the Iceland location shooting featured in PROMETHEUS. There are shots of the astronauts and spacecraft in water, as well as brief glimpses of McConaughey's loved ones back home and Jessica Chastain's character. (Could Chastain be McConaughey's grown up daughter? It’s sort of suggested in the context of the trailer.) This last section is also cut against narration from Michael Caine reciting Dylan Thomas' famous poem "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.” The music swells and there's a final shot of a spacecraft in front of an interstellar backdrop featuring what looked like a figure-8 ribbon of light. Cut to title card: INTERSTELLAR.
Before this, McConaughey, making his Con debut as well, came out to tease the crowd before bringing out Nolan to rapturous applause. There was only time for brief remarks and questions, but here are the highlights:
- McConaughey first got a call from Nolan to fly to California and meet him at his house. They chatted for three hours but didn't talk at all about the movie. McConaughey was confused but received a script the next week.
- The movie is set in a world where circumstances have led to society no longer needing astronauts or exploerers. However, due to the environmental situation, McConaughey's widowed father finally gets a shot at being a pilot again, but has to leave his two children behind.
- Nolan said he's a huge fan of science fiction, specifically STAR WARS and 2001. He grew up during a time when being an astronaut was a childhood ambition and space exploration was the most exciting thing. Now with technology making everything smaller and smaller, he wanted to make something that celebrated the idea of using technology for exploring the bigger universe.
- Nolan is using as much new innovation and technology as he can to create as much reality in camera for the actors to work with. This includes projecting the outerspace images in real time outside the spacecraft windows.
- When asked what the film means to him, Nolan said no film means anything until it goes out to the audience. But he said for him the prominent themes revolve around what it means to be human and our place in the universe.
- For research, Nolan was fortunate to have theoretical physicist Kip Thorne as an Executive Producer to help explain things to him—not too in depth—just enough so that he can present it to the audience in a way they can understand.
- As far as inspiration, he said he didn't want to give a list because you'll be able to see everything he ripped off in the finished film. McConaughey said everything has to be original with Nolan, even when he's inspired.
- On why all of his movies seems to involve psychology: Nolan said he was just interested in people, specifically subjectivity vs. objectivity and how we're imprisoned by the world around us.
- McConaughey said working on INTERSTELLAR felt like making an independent film—2-3 takes and then move to the next shot. He said it was by far Nolan's most ambitious film.
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