“Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.”
After a beautiful teaser released in December, Paramount Pictures and Warner Brothers have debuted the first full trailer for Christopher Nolan’s ambitious science fiction drama Interstellar, one of the most anticipated films of 2014. And it’s breathtaking piece of teaser marketing! I’ll admit to be slightly biased towards Nolan’s films but when a filmmaker keeps delivering the goods and pushing the boundaries of film all while staying within the confines of the studio system, he deserves all the praise and attention he gets. Sure, his last film, The Dark Knight Rises, had more than its share of problems but there was a lot to enjoy in that film too.
Not much is known about Interstellar aside from a vague plot summary (Nolan tends to be very tight-lipped about his projects), and this beautiful trailer doesn’t give us much to chew on either. It does however establish a strong tone – which is a hallmark of many of the best teasers (see Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson as other examples). Some thoughts on the trailer:
- It looks like Nolan is leaving behind the big action set-piece-centric narratives of his last three features (The Dark Knight, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) for something more ambitious and sci-fi-heavy. While it doesn’t look like he’s going to sell us short on the spectacle (those space scenes!), the strong emphasis on the relationship between Matthew McConaughey’s character and his two kids, specifically his daughter, suggest that Interstellar may be closer to say 2001 (Nolan’s favorite film) and Robert Zemeckis’ Contact (coincidentally, another movie starring McConaughey).
- The trailer oozes a Spielbergian vibe – from the absent father figure to the small town setting to the premise. This isn’t a coincidence either. The film was a Spielberg project for more than a decade. Screenwriter Jonathan Nolan was originally commissioned by Spielberg to pen the film before the Beard decided to focus on more Oscar-friendly projects like Lincoln and War Horse instead. Instead of dropping the project, Jonathan simply took the project to his brother. Hey, if you have something great on your hands, might as well keep it in the family, right?
- Unfortunately, it seems like Nolan’s bringing back his dreaded “dead wife” trope. Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, Inception, now this!
- If you think the music used in the trailer sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve heard it before. It’s a track called “Evey Reborn” from Dario Marianelli’s fantastic score for V for Vendetta. It plays over the famous scene in that movie where bald Natalie Portman cries in the rain.
- Unless Nolan’s being really secretive, and Paramount has some groundbreaking marketing campaign coming our way in the next few months, this is unlikely to be the final trailer. Remember that iconic Inception trailer? It debuted two months before the movie’s release. That’s when to expect the final trailer for this one – around September.
The official synopsis of the film is described as follows:
Interstellar 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.
Directed by Nolan, Interstellar is co-written by Nolan and his brother Jonathan, and features a massive cast including Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, Bill Erwin, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow and Matt Damon among others. It opens November 7.