'Interstellar' Nolan's nod to childhood at movies

LAS VEGAS (AP) — It's tough to get writer-director Christopher Nolan to divulge details about the plot of his upcoming sci-fi movie "Interstellar."

"We're right in the thick of the first cut of the film," he said on stage during a question and answer session at the annual movie-theater convention CinemaCon in Las Vegas on Wednesday. "So I can't really say much about it right now."

However, he did say that the tone of the time travel focused project, of which scientist Kip Thorne is a producer, is very different than any of his previous films.

"For me it's about harking back to films I saw when I was a child," he said. "I grew up in an era that was the golden age of the blockbuster, where something being a family film could be very broad and universal. I feel like that is something I want to see again. Something that looks at where we are as people and where we might go."

Co-written with his brother and frequent collaborator Jonathan Nolan — the two have worked on "The Dark Knight," ''The Dark Knight Rises" and "The Prestige" together — "Interstellar" is about "interstellar travel," Nolan offered.

But just how the story will unfold when it hits theaters in November is still a mystery.

In the trailer, snippets of archival aviation footage is shown as Matthew McConaughey talks about "the ability to overcome the impossible" via voiceover. We also see a shot of the Oscar winner driving down a dusty road while tears are in his eyes and a little girl holding a man's hand while watching the launch of what looks like a rocket.

McConaughey, along with Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain, stars in the film. Nolan said he "needed someone who was very much an everyman" to play the male lead. McConaughey, he added, was an ideal choice. "He is experiencing extraordinary events in the film and we are seeing them through his eyes. I didn't' know how much potential Matthew had until 'Mud.' It showed me a side of his capabilities that I never knew was there. It's a transformative performance."

Though he did not reveal any of the locations where the film was shot, Nolan said the film was "shot like a documentary." He said he tried to stay away from creating scenes with CGI. "We put the people in the real environments," he added.

Shot mostly in IMAX, Nolan said the post work on the film will be very detailed. "The technical aspects of how things are presented is going to be more involved than any other film I've ever made," he said. But that won't involve 3-D. "3-D is not necessarily the best thing for a shared experience," he said.

He added that he had "ambitious plans of how we will maximize the potential of sound systems in theaters." But he assured movie houses won't need any extra tools to screen his film, which is scored by Hans Zimmer. "We will use existing equipment," he added.

Nolan said the universal appeal of his new movie was inspired by the films he was moved by as a kid, like Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," which left him feeling transported by its magnitude. "I had this extraordinary time being taken away to another world," he recalled.

He hopes to echo that experience with "Interstellar." ''It tries to be an experience that you carry with you," he said.


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