Christopher Nolan at Comic Con: Interstellar is About What It Means to Be Human

Friday, 25 July 2014 - 9:49AM
Friday, 25 July 2014 - 9:49AM
Christopher Nolan at Comic Con: Interstellar is About What It Means to Be Human

It was Christopher Nolan's first time to Comic Con, and apparently it didn't disappoint.

 

"I had heard a lot about this being the place where people are the most passionate about pop culture. And judging by the crowd, I'm not disappointed," Nolan said while promoting his upcoming film, Interstellar. "We thought it would be a fun thing to come down and see what all the fuss is about. Thank you for having us. And thank you for all of your support in the past. Your enthusiasm has been an extraordinary thing. So thank you."

 

There was also a barrage of new information released on the highly anticipated Interstellar, which boasts a ridiculously pedigreed cast that includes Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Ellen Burstyn, and Michael Caine. Nolan unveiled a new trailer (which will be available to the public next week), and gave the audience many thoughtful insights into the film's themes and its place in modern popular culture.

 

[Credit: Paramount Pictures]

 

The ambitious film follows a team of astronauts as they travel through a wormhole to distant galaxies after Earth is ravaged by famine. The film explicitly asks the question, "Why did we stop exploring?", and it seems that this is generally a question on forefront of Nolan's mind: "I've always been a huge fan of science fiction. I grew up being amazed by science fiction-'2001,' 'Star Wars.' But I grew up in a time when being an astronaut was the highest ambition. And the idea that we would keep exploring space and pushing further and further out seemed inevitable. That has fallen out in the past couple of decades. Technology has gone through a huge change. I think we're on the new cusp of a brand new era of exploration. I got very, very excited about taking my brother Jonah's script that had these incredible characters and following them on those journeys. The idea of going through this solar system and going into other galaxies is the biggest story you can tell."


His longtime interest in science fiction is reflected in his desire to add to the classic science fiction canon. When asked about his inspiration for the film, he first said, "I don't want to do a list because when you watch it you'll see all the things I've ripped off," but went on to list "'2001,' 'Blade Runner' has always been a favorite of mine, but the whole gamut. I think the single biggest influence was '2001,' which they re-released after 'Star Wars' came out and I was able to go with my dad to see it on the big screen. It was such a memorable experience for me. We have an ambition on this film, not to do what that film did, but tell a similarly ambitious story on that scale. I want kids to be able to go with their parents and watch this story unfold."

 


in true Nolan fashion, the film also seems to explore many lofty philosophical themes, in addition to burrowing into the depths of human psychology: "I'm just interested in people and the idea of objectivity versus subjectivity," said Nolan. "We're all trapped within our own perceptions of the universe... It's really about human beings and what it means to be human. What we've found, and other filmmakers have found before, is that as far out as you go in the universe, you realize that it's all about the humans."


All of the trailers for Interstellar seem to begin with an extremely quotable quotation from Matthew McConaughey's character, and this trailer proved no different. "We used to look up at the sky and wonder about our place in the stars. Now, we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt." Arguably the most exciting news from the new trailer is footage of foreign planets. The footage is reportedly awe-inspiring, featuring a beautifully rendered frozen planet, on which they escape from a deep crevasse that looks like a set of sharp icy teeth. 


Although the special effects appear to be glorious, there seems to be no shortage of human drama, either, as McConaughey's reluctant hero leaves his two children without knowing if he'll ever see them again. He tells his weeping daughter that he'll come back, but then she asks, "When?" and he simply can't answer. (The trailer also reportedly goes a long way towards confirming speculation from previous teasers that Chastain plays McConaughey's daughter as an adult.)


[Credit: Paramount Pictures]


Matthew McConaughey ventured to Comic Con for the first time as well, and participated in the Interstellar panel. He gave the delighted audience an obligatory "Alright, alright, alright," and spoke a few words about Nolan's creative process and the enormous scope of this upcoming film: "Christopher is always out for original. It doesn't matter if it's a great idea from a Stanley Kubrick idea. He might appreciate it but he won't repeat it. When you're on set, he's completely conceived of this world. It was like shooting a little independent film. Two or three takes and we move on. He's a man whose reach constantly exceeds his grasp. And it's true in this film-it's by far the most ambitious film that Christopher Nolan has ever directed."


[Credit: Paramount Pictures]


Interstellar is set to be released on November 7, and we can hardly wait.

Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies