Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine Taking a Wild Ride in ‘Interstellar’

Mark Deming
Movie Talk

Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine may soon be heading into the furthest reaches of space and time. And if they do, they''ll have some interesting company for the ride.

It was announced Thursday that Jessica Chastain is in talks to join Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway in "Interstellar," an upcoming sci-fi epic from director Christopher Nolan, the man behind the "Dark Knight" trilogy and "Inception."

The casting would confirm Chastain's rise to the supper levels of stardom after earning an Oscar nomination for her work in "The Help" and playing showy roles in "Zero Dark Thirty," "Mama," "The Debt" and "The Tree of Life."

And on Friday, another casting choice for the movie was announced: iconic British actor Michael Caine is on board for "Interstellar." It will mark the sixth time Caine has worked with Nolan; he played Alfred in the "Dark Knight" series, and also appeared in "The Prestige" and "Inception."

"Interstellar" will be Nolan's first project since wrapping up "The Dark Knight Rises," and it has an interesting pedigree. The screenplay, written by Christopher's brother Jonathan Nolan, was originally going to be produced by Paramount Pictures with Steven Spielberg as director, before Warner Bros. signed in to co-produce and Christopher took over the project.

So far, Nolan and his team are keeping quiet about what we can expect from "Interstellar," but initial reports say the story was inspired by the writings of physicist Kip Thorne, who speculates that wormholes in the time/space continuum exist and it could be possible for humans to travel through them. The initial press releases regarding the movie describe it as "a heroic interstellar voyage to the furthest reaches of our scientific understanding," which from the man who directed "Inception" could mean any number of intriguing things.

"Interstellar" finds Chastain adding more work to an already busy schedule. The redheaded beauty has wrapped work on "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby," a two-part tale of a New York City couple whose romance is going through a rough patch, and she's confirmed to play the lead in Liv Ullman's screen adaptation of August Strindberg's "Miss Julie" opposite Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton. Chastain is also attached to Guillermo del Toro's "Crimson Peak."

Caine, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, has plenty on his slate as well. He has two pictures scheduled for release in 2013, "Now You See Me" (co-starring Morgan Freeman and Mark Ruffalo) and "Mr. Morgan's Last Love" (featuring Gillian Anderson). Caine has also been booked for "Eliza Graves," an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's short story, with Ben Kingsley and Kate Beckinsale also in the cast.

Sounds like Chastain and Caine could use a journey through time to keep up with it all.