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Interstellar (2014) Poster

(2014)

Trivia

Composer Hans Zimmer was instructed by Christopher Nolan to make a unique score: "it's time to reinvent. The endless string ostinatos need to go by the wayside, the big drums are probably in the bin." Nolan did not provide Zimmer a script or any plot details for writing music for the film, and instead gave the composer "one page of text" that "had more to do with Zimmer's story than the plot of the movie."
Jump to: Spoilers (31)
Early in pre-production, Dr. Kip Thorne laid down two guidelines to strictly follow: nothing would violate established physical laws, and that all the wild speculations would spring from science, and not from the creative mind of a screenwriter. Writer, Producer, and Director Christopher Nolan accepted these terms, as long as they did not get in the way of the making of the movie. That did not prevent clashes, though; at one point Thorne spent two weeks talking Nolan out of an idea about travelling faster than light.
To create the wormhole and black hole, Dr. Kip Thorne collaborated with Visual Effects Supervisor Paul J. Franklin and his team at Double Negative. Thorne provided pages of deeply sourced theoretical equations to the team, which then created new CGI software programs based on these equations to create accurate computer simulations of these phenomena. Some individual frames took up to one hundred hours to render, and ultimately the whole CGI program reached to eight hundred terabytes of data. The resulting visual effects provided Thorne with new insight into the effects of gravitational lensing and accretion disks surrounding black holes, and led to him writing two scientific papers, one for the astrophysics community, and one for the computer graphics community.
According to Dr. Kip Thorne, the largest degree of creative license in this movie are the clouds of the ice planet, which are structures that probably go beyond the material strength which ice would be able to support.
Steven Spielberg, who was attached to direct this movie in 2006, and hired Jonathan Nolan to write the screenplay, chose other projects instead. In 2012, after Spielberg's departure, Jonathan Nolan suggested the project to his brother Christopher Nolan.
The method of space travel in this movie was based on physicist Dr. Kip Thorne's works, which were also the basis for the method of space travel in Carl Sagan's novel "Contact", and the resulting movie adaptation, Contact (1997). Matthew McConaughey starred in both movies.
The giant dust clouds were created on-location, using large fans to blow cellulose-based synthetic dust through the air.
Like Inception (2010) and the last two "Dark Knight" movies, Writer, Producer, and Director Christopher Nolan has focused on as many real environments as possible. "We have spatial interiors. We built closed sets and shot it like a documentary, like the actors were really there", he said. Nolan had the visual effects created in advance, and projected onto screens placed outside the spacecraft set, so when the actors and actresses looked out the windows of their vessel they would be able to see and react to a real environment, and not a greenscreen. Technically, Nolan said he shot with an IMAX camera on this movie more than on any of his previous movies. He also wanted to give greater enhancement to the audio experience this time around. He stated that he has "very ambitious sound mix plans. I want to give audiences an incredible immersive experience. The technical aspects are going to be more important than any film I've made before."
The majority of shots of the robot TARS were not computer generated. Rather, TARS was a practical puppet controlled and voiced on-set by Bill Irwin, who was then digitally erased from the movie. Irwin also puppeteered the robot CASE, but in that instance, had his voice dubbed over by Josh Stewart.
Anne Hathaway suffered from hypothermia while filming in Iceland, due to the fact that her astronaut suit was open while filming scenes in the icy water.
Dr. Kip Thorne won a scientific bet against Stephen Hawking upon the astrophysics theory that underlies this movie. As a consequence, Hawking had to subscribe to Penthouse Magazine for a year. This famous bet was depicted in The Theory of Everything (2014).
The Wormhole was placed near Saturn as a reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), because Stanley Kubrick originally planned for part of that movie to take place at Saturn. Unfortunately, as visual effects technology wasn't able to make Saturn's rings at that time, he changed it to Jupiter.
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Christopher Nolan was initially concerned that a scientifically accurate depiction of a black hole would not be easily depicted for the common audience. However, he found the finished effect to be explainable provided that he maintained consistent camera perspectives: "As long as we didn't change the point of view or the camera position too much, we could get something very understandable."
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The wormhole explanation using paper and pen is exactly the same as it appears in Event Horizon (1997).
The screenplay is based on the works of theoretical physicist Dr. Kip Thorne. He described the story as "based on warped space-time, the most exotic events in the universe suddenly becoming accessible to humans."
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According to Albert Einstein's theory of General Relativity, it would take an infinite amount of time to cross the threshold of a black hole's event horizon, as seen by a distant observer. The person crossing the threshold, however, would notice no change in the flow of time.
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Writer, Producer, and Director Christopher Nolan cast Matthew McConaughey after seeing his performance in Mud (2012). It was an "ideal moment" for Nolan when they landed Texas native McConaughey for the lead role: "I'm thrilled for him right now. I didn't know how much potential he had until I saw 'Mud', not just as a leading man, but in sheer acting talent." He remarked that in McConaughey he "needed an everyday man who can experience these extraordinary events."
The Ranger, Endurance, and Lander spacecrafts were created using miniature effects and full-size models, by effects company New Deal Studios, as Christopher Nolan felt they were better than computer generated effects, to give the ships a tangible presence in space.
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Many of the IMAX lenses used during filming were prototypes; never before seen, and some last minute modifications had to be made to some of the lenses just a few days before filming began.
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Several tracks of Hans Zimmer's original score were recorded at a tempo of a beat per second (sixty beats per minute), precisely matching the passage of time, a recurring theme of the movie. These key scenes include "Imperfect Lock", "No Time For Caution" (the docking scene), and varying portions of "Stay", "Mountains" (the water planet), and "Detach".
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Until post-production was complete, Matthew McConaughey did not even reveal the plot of this movie to his wife Camila Alves McConaughey.
Production Designer Nathan Crowley based the Endurance's design on the International Space Station: "It's a real mishmash of different kinds of technology; you need analogue stuff, as well as digital stuff, you need back-up systems and tangible switches. Every inch of space is used, everything has a purpose. It's really like a submarine in space."
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Theoretical physicist Dr. Kip Thorne, whose works inspired this movie, was approached to play himself in a cameo role.
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In order to offer Jessica Chastain her role, Writer, Producer, and Director Christopher Nolan sent an assistant to Ireland, where she was filming Miss Julie (2014) with a script watermarked with Chastain's name. Chastain was not allowed to keep the script after she read it.
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After watching the documentary The Dust Bowl (2012), Christopher Nolan contacted its Director, Ken Burns, and Producer Dayton Duncan, requesting permission to use some of their featured interviews in this movie.
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Some space sequences were shot with an IMAX camera installed in the nose cone of a Learjet.
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A copy of Stephen King's novel "The Stand" is visible among Murph's books. King's book is about the near extinction of humanity and the survivors' struggle to relocate and settle down.
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The "hyper-sleep" chambers place the astronauts' bodies in a cold liquid, as seen after they wake up, when they are covered in blankets or thermal blankets. This is likely a practical reference to studies that have shown a state of hibernation can be achieved in the human body by causing hypothermia. This technology has been used to treat brain damage, and has been proposed as a viable means of keeping people with severe injuries alive after accidents, while they are transported to medical facilities, where they can be treated by specialists.
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The books displayed on the bookshelves, shown in this movie, were the actual books Nolan had read, and used, for his research about black holes and singularity.
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The apocalyptic Earth setting in this movie is inspired by the Dust Bowl disaster that took place in the central areas of the United States and Canada during the Great Depression in the 1930s.
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The wormhole shown in this movie near Saturn is exactly the same place shown in Man of Steel (2013), produced by Christopher Nolan. In Man of Steel (2013), Superman as a child arrives into our solar system in a spaceship when it drops out of warp.
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The robot personalities were inspired by Douglas Adams' universe ("Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"), where the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation created the Genuine People Personalities ("GPP"), which imbue their robots with intelligence and emotion. The most recognized example in Adams' universe is Marvin, a depressed android.
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Starting in 2014, Paramount Pictures began to cease releasing its features on traditional film stock in favor of digital projection formats. However, as Christopher Nolan is a strong proponent for the continued use of film prints over digital, he insisted that this movie be additionally released in the 15/70mm IMAX, standard 70mm and 35mm film formats a full two days before its wider digital release.
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When presenting the American Cinematheque award to Matthew McConaughey, Christopher Nolan said, "I'm not a believer in the McConaissance. I think Matthew's success of late is the rest of us catching up to what he's been doing." Jennifer Garner talked about two different movies she'd done with him and explained that he'd given the same gravity and intensity to both genres, "and I can tell you as a director, there's no question that this is a performer who can't say, 'Pass the salt' without it being truthful, without meaning something. I've never worked with an actor so relentless in his pursuit of truth in everything he does." Nolan also recalled that while he was presenting the night's award to McConnaughey, he remembered how the super-dad would play with Nolan's own kids while on set: "I find him extremely serious. But my kids found him very amusing on his days off when he would build forts with them and his kids, thereby making me look like a slightly worse father."
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The dismantled robot on the ice planet has the designation KIPP, which is a reference to Executive Producer Dr. Kip Thorne.
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The documentary-style interviews of older survivors, shown at the beginning of this movie, and again on the television playing in the farmhouse, towards the end of the movie, are from Ken Burns The Dust Bowl (2012). They are real survivors, not actors, of that natural disaster.
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This movie parodies the story that the moon landings were faked by the government. It's used in the movie as an attempt to quell future generations' enthusiasm for space travel. Amazingly, real-life conspiracy theorists claim that Stanley Kubrick directed the television footage of the landings, using leftover props from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), which is one of the inspirations for this movie.
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The shape of the space station, is in reference to a clock face, with time being a major theme in the movie.
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The oft-quoted lines beginning with "Do not go gentle into that good night" are from a poem by Dylan Thomas.
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Filmed under the fake name "Flora's Letter", after Christopher Nolan's daughter Flora.
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In a Q&A interview at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on March 26, 2014, Writer, Producer, and Director Christopher Nolan stated that this movie is "very different" from his past work and he was inspired by the movies he saw growing up during what he termed "the golden age of the blockbuster", essentially, four quadrant movies that didn't need a "family" label to appeal to all audiences. Nolan noted it's "really about going back to those sort of films."
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Writer, Producer, and Director Christopher Nolan described this movie as "an ode to human spaceflight" and cited multiple movies as influences on the project: Metropolis (1927), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), Alien (1979), and Blade Runner (1982) served as influences for this movie's depiction of science and space travel, while The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) and The Mirror (1975) influenced the human drama. Nolan also cited the Steven Spielberg movies, Jaws (1975) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), as movies that manage to tackle serious subject matters, while still appealing to all audiences as examples for him to emulate. Nolan and his crew studied the IMAX documentaries of N.A.S.A. by Toni Myers, for visual reference of space-faring missions, and sought to mimic the look of her use of IMAX cameras aboard spaceships. Finally, Nolan screened a print of The Right Stuff (1983) for the crew before shooting started, to help them understand their roles in this movie.
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To get inspiration for real-world space travel, Christopher Nolan invited former astronaut Marsha Ivins to the set.
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In Christopher Nolan's opinion, the score composed by Hans Zimmer is the strongest and most powerful one he has created so far.
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Executive Producer Dr. Kip Thorne was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in physics for his work leading to the detection of gravity waves, which were first predicted by Albert Einstein nearly one hundred years ago.
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After the crew landed on Miller's planet, just when they are about to get off Ranger 1, the score softens, and we can hear ticks approximately once every one and a half seconds. Because of the time dilation due to Gargantua's gravity, every tick represents approximately seventeen hours on Earth.
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The characters mention travelling via a "tesseract", which is a multi-dimensional geometric structure also known as a "hypercube". Coined by Charles Howard Hinton in 1888 in his book "A New Era of Thought", the tesseract is a structure that extends a normal cube into four dimensions. It was popularized in Robert A. Heinlein's short story "And He Built a Crooked House" from 1941, and later in the 1962 science fiction novel "A Wrinkle In Time" by Madeleine L'Engle.
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Some of the "archive footage" interviews were filmed specifically for the production, and then altered by the visual effects teams to appear much older.
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Besides Saturn's connection to crops, he was also known as Kronos, the god of time ("chronos") and cycles (thus the eponymous chronology, chronicle, et cetera.). Since time is a key theme in the movie, the appearance of the wormhole next to the planet Saturn is highly significant.
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Hoyte Van Hoytema retooled an IMAX camera to be handheld for shooting interior scenes.
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The visual effects that portray the wormhole with stars stretching out on its horizon is known in astrophysics as "Gravitational Lensing". That is, in fact, how astronomers have identified black holes (an intense gravitational field bending space so much, that light coming from stars behind it is stretched out around the sphere of the black hole's "event horizon"). Considering the high-degree of scientific accuracy of this movie, it's not inconceivable that a wormhole would look much in real-life, as it is portrayed on this movie.
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With a running time of two hours, forty-seven minutes, and seven seconds, it is the longest IMAX movie ever released as of 2014.
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The school where Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) goes to the parent-teacher conference is called "Longview School", and is an actual school in Longview, Alberta, Canada, where the scene was filmed. Coincidentally, McConaughey graduated from Longview High School in Longview, Texas.
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Many of the characters' names are found on the books in Murph's room as authors.
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Dr. Kip Thorne also collaborated with game developer Sticky Studios on the official mobile and web game by providing paper excerpts and equations. The entire game is scientifically correct in respect to time dilation, gravity, and energy.
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The name of the black hole is "Gargantua", who was also a giant with an incredible appetite, very difficult to satisfy. This character was created by Francois Rabelais in his "Gargantua et Pantagruel" novels.
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On April 10, 2019 the first photo of a black hole was made public that looked very similar to the black hole shown in this movie.
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If seven years equals one hour on the water planet, a day expires every one and a half seconds.
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This was Christopher Nolan's first movie since Memento (2000) to not be filmed by Cinematographer Wally Pfister, who was busy with his directorial debut, Transcendence (2014). Nolan hired Cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema to replace Pfister.
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The "Miller Planet" scene was filmed in Iceland.
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This movie began as a Paramount Pictures production. When Christopher Nolan took the director's chair, Warner Brothers, which had released Nolan's recent productions, sought a stake in the project. In exchange for international distribution rights, Warner Brothers gave Paramount Pictures the rights to co-finance future sequels of Friday the 13th (2009) and South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999).
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In the office of N.A.S.A.'s secret base, you can catch a glimpse of the lithographs of "From the Earth to the Moon" by Jules Verne.
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Writer, Producer, and Director Christopher Nolan earned twenty million dollars and twenty percent of the gross for this movie.
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Donald's (John Lithgow's) generation in the movie is supposed to be the current "millennial" generation. This is evidenced by his comments such as "In my day, they had real ball players", hinting at a more normal existence on Earth.
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The black hole was so scientifically accurate it took approx 100 hours to render each frame in the physics and VFX engine. Meaning every second onscreen took approx 100 days to render the final copy.
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While filming on the Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland, gusts of wind could reach speeds up to one hundred miles (one hundred sixty-one kilometers) per hour. These extreme conditions forced the crew to retreat to the hotel, in which they were staying. Because of Christopher Nolan's persistence to shoot something, the crew ended up shooting insert shots in the parking lot of the hotel.
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(At around seven minutes) During the cornfield scene, the software Cooper uses to track and control the Indian surveillance drone is in the Hindi language and Devanagari script (although with some spelling mistakes), and the message says, "Login successful" and "Data transferred".
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The acronym T.A.R.S. actually stands for "technically artificial robotic system".
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In working together, Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey said each was different from their perceptions of one another. McConaughey expected Nolan to be a perfectionist, but learned he is collaborative, has a dry sense of humor, and that "he actually likes the imperfections." Meanwhile, Nolan believed McConaughey would be loose and laid-back, but found him to be intense and serious about his work on this film.
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The building designs are inspired by the works of modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
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The ship they take through the wormhole is named "The Endurance", which was also the name of Ernest Shackleton's ship that he took on his expedition to be the first to travel the full circumference of Antarctica. That expedition was stymied when the ship was trapped in the ice sheets that surrounded Antarctica. Though the mission was considered a failure, everyone on the ship made it back alive. Perhaps this name alludes to the hope of saving all of the lives of everyone back on Earth.
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The 70mm IMAX version is two minutes shorter than the regular 70mm, Digital IMAX, 35mm, and digital projection versions. This is because the end credits are played in an abbreviated slide-show form (rather than scrolling from bottom to top), due to the size capacity of the IMAX platters, which can hold a maximum of two hours and forty-seven minutes of film.
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When Dr. Kip Thorne first met Matthew McConaughey, he asked him what he wanted him to call him. He said "Anything but Matt."
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In the scene where Cooper has to land their ship on Miller's water planet, the camera focuses on him gripping the seat of his chair. This is a reference to a common aviation saying, "Fly by the seat of your pants." Before modern instruments, pilots relied on instinct and their senses to fly, such as sight, using landmarks to gauge altitude or distance. Pilots also used feeling from the vibrations in their seat from air hitting the plane to determine windspeed and direction. Cooper verifies this when he said he needs to "feel the air" in order to land properly instead of relying on technology.
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The word "interstellar" is said only once in this movie. It's said at the middle point.
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A. Scott Berg's biography of Charles A. Lindbergh appears on Murph's bookshelf as an ode to man's early days of flight.
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Christopher Nolan combined his idea with an existing script by his brother Jonathan Nolan, that was developed in 2007 for Paramount Pictures and Producer Lynda Obst.
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Anne Hathaway's character is named Amelia. This may be a nod to famous pilot Amelia Earhart who, like Hathaway's on-screen persona, was a woman who went further than any other person in exploring and flying.
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The wormhole in this movie is placed near Saturn. Saturn was the god of Roman agriculture. This seems very fitting since this movie is about a blight which destroys farmers' crops. The only hope for humanity is to pass through a wormhole near a planet which is named after the god of agriculture.
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Christopher Nolan came up with the design for TARS with production designer Nathan Crowley. The acronym does not actually stand for anything. Nolan said that when he showed a model for TARS to his kids, they were initially unimpressed by it and didn't think it could be a robot. But once they saw how it could be reconfigured to serve different functions, they got excited about it.
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Irrfan Khan was considered for a role, but declined due to schedule conflicts with The Lunchbox (2013) and D-Day (2013).
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This movie is the first time brothers Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan have worked on a completely original script, unlike their past projects which were adapted from novels, short stories or comic books (although, technically, Memento (2000) was billed as an original script, even though it was indeed based on a short story titled "Memento Mori", but as this story was written by Jonathan Nolan, and the script was published before the short story, the case could be made that "Memento" was actually the brothers' first original script).
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The library tesseract set is visually reminiscent of the interior of HAL 9000's memory core in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
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One of the books on the shelf is by Diana Gabaldon, who is the author of the time travel series Outlander (2014).
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John Lithgow also appeared in 2010 (1984), the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), which was the inspiration of this movie and is beloved by Writer, Producer, and Director Christopher Nolan.
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The lines, CASE: "It's not possible." COOPER: "No. It's necessary", are a reference to the famous quote, "Failure is not an option", from the Apollo 13 N.A.S.A. mission.
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According to Space.com, the portrayal of what a wormhole would look like is considered scientifically correct. Rather than a two-dimensional hole in space, it is depicted as a sphere, showing a distorted view of the target galaxy.
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Hans Zimmer's score for this movie bears a striking resemblance to his previous iconic theme "Journey to the Line" from The Thin Red Line (1998). That theme was born out of trial and error. Terrence Malick had been dissatisfied with Zimmer's score, and had Zimmer continuously reworking melodies, to come up with various approaches to the music. Thus "Journey to the Line" was finally born. Many of his latter scores (especially this movie) would go on to bear an uncanny resemblance, or seem to work as variations building on that theme.
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One of the books on Murph's shelf is the novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel García Márquez.
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In Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), an engineer stumbles across a top-secret government operation by following a mysterious message. The government rendezvouses with aliens when they send map coordinates for humans to follow. In this movie, Matthew McConaughey plays an engineer who receives map coordinates from a mysterious source and follows them to a top-secret government operation. Also, in both movies, stumbling upon this operation leads directly to him being invited to take part in a space flight. Both movies featured a scene of the main character in his truck fumbling with maps. Appropriately, Steven Spielberg was the one who originally developed this project.
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Timothée Chalamet "wept for like an hour" after seeing the movie and realizing he is not visible for the majority of his most prominent scene.
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In the scene where Donald (John Lithgow) is watching the baseball game with Cooper and Murph, he comments that "popcorn at a baseball game is unnatural", and then after a brief pause says, "I want a hot dog." In 2010 (1984) Walter Curnow (John Lithgow) gets into a similar discussion with Heywood Floyd (Roy Scheider) about missing hot dogs. with Curnow's preference being "Astrodome. Good hot dogs there."
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This was the first movie directed by Christopher Nolan since The Prestige (2006) to feature an opening title card.
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Nathan Crowley described the Lander spacecraft as a "heavy Russian helicopter".
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The black hole in the film was made using scientifically accurate equations by Kip Thorne that described the geometry of a black hole. It was in fact so remarkable the visual effects crew went on to publish a study about the technique used
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Although released in 2014, this was the most pirated movie of 2015. As a result, Russian YouTube "mockbuster" Interstelar (2014) reached hundreds of thousands of views mistaken for the pirated copy of this movie, before it was subsequently deleted. It was later reinstated on another channel to coincide with the release of a sequel, Interstelar 2: Operation Terra 2040 (2016).
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Nolan deliberately intended some dialogue to seem drowned out by ambient noise or music, causing some theaters to post notices emphasizing that this effect was intentional and not a fault in their equipment.
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After calculating all expenses, Deadline Hollywood estimated the film made a profit of $47.2 million. It sold an estimated 22 million tickets domestically.
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Cooper asks TARS if he is honest - to which TARS replies he is programmed for 90 percent honesty. A key theme of 2001: A Space Odyssey is the conflict Hal 9000, the ship's computer has in being instructed to lie to Bowman and Poole. This conflict with his basic programming - to accurately process information causes Hal to become psychotic and kill the crew, with the exception of Bowman. TARS having the programmed ability to lie would overcome this problem when he interacts with humans.
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The film's cast contains six Oscar winners: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Matt Damon, Casey Affleck, and Ellen Burstyn, plus three additional nominees: John Lithgow, Jessica Chastain, and Timothée Chalamet
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Among the books visible in Professor Brand's office is a copy of Walter Isaacson's biography of Albert Einstein, who came up with the theory of relativity, which is an important element of the film's plot.
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Screenwriter Jonathan Nolan worked on the script for four years. To learn the scientific aspects, he studied relativity at the California Institute of Technology. Jonathan was pessimistic about the Space Shuttle program ending and how NASA lacked financing for a human mission to Mars, drawing inspiration from science fiction films with apocalyptic themes, such as WALL-E (2008) and Avatar (2009).
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While planning the mission to Millers Planet, Cooper says, "There's not going to be any time for chit-chat or monkey business down there, so TARS, you should definitely stay here", then the shot cuts to TARS in a monolithic position, referencing the Monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
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In order to participate as a co-financier on this film, Warner Bros. relinquished its share of the film rights to the "Friday the 13th" film series to Paramount Pictures, who had the other controlling interest to the series. Both studios have previously released films from the franchise.
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The spacecraft is not launched until forty-three minutes into the movie.
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The only movie of Christopher Nolan which used a different type of the main conflict, rather than straight confrontation. In this movie, the central conflict is about difficulties of relationship, rather than clashing interest.
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Production designer Nathan Crowley said the Endurance was based on the International Space Station: "It's a real mish-mash of different kinds of technology. You need analogue stuff as well as digital stuff, you need back-up systems and tangible switches. It's really like a submarine in space. Every inch of space is used, everything has a purpose."
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Mackenzie Foy, who portrayed ten-year-old Murph, was thirteen-years-old by the time this movie was released.
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Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars makes a friend and ally named "Tars Tarkas", for whom TARS could be named.
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Ellen Burstyn played an old and crotchety woman in the movie version of Margaret Laurence's novel The Stone Angel (2007). In the foreword to the novel, Laurence quotes from a Dylan Thomas poem, "Rage, rage against the dying of the light", which is frequently used in this movie.
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The director was influenced by what he called "key touchstones" of science fiction cinema, including Metropolis (1927), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Blade Runner (1982), Star Wars (1977) and Alien (1979). Andrei Tarkovsky's The Mirror (1975) influenced "elemental things in the story to do with wind and dust and water", according to Nolan, who also compared Interstellar to The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) as a film about human nature. Apart from films, Nolan drew inspiration from the architecture of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
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The "tesseract" concept which enables Cooper to communicate with Murph, is also used and is an important instrument in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Matt Damon was not included in the promotion for this movie. His name was not mentioned, and he did not attend any of the premieres. In fact, apart from an article in "Variety" announcing his casting as an "unspecified role", his role was kept secret until the release of this movie.
For a cornfield scene, Christopher Nolan sought to grow five hundred acres of corn, which he learned was feasible from his producing of Man of Steel (2013). The corn was then sold, and actually made a profit.
There is a reference to a "tesseract". The first known reference to the term in science fiction literature occurred in Robert A. Heinlein's 1941 short story "And He Built a Crooked House". In the story, an architect designs a house based upon the geometric concept of a four-dimensional analogue of the cube. He does this so well, that the house folds in upon itself and creates a dimensional loop within the structure. People within the house can see themselves by looking through one room into another which is, in fact, the room they are in and find it nearly impossible to leave, as they are in a loop, much like what Coop saw when he entered the black hole.
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Although Doyle is presumed drowned after being struck by the tidal wave on Miller's planet, his suit appears intact when the Ranger leaves, meaning it is remotely possible he could have survived the impact, and is merely unconscious. Given the extreme time dilation on Miller's planet, a rescue is very possible. Assuming a mission were to be dispatched from Cooper Station orbiting Saturn, it would take only nine hours in relative time for Doyle to be rescued, but over sixty-five years would have passed for the rest of the world (assuming a dilation factor of one hour per seven years).
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Old Murph (Ellen Burstyn) has the first and last lines of dialogue.
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The first line in the movie, spoken by Coop's daughter Murph is as follows: "I thought you were the ghost." She means that she heard him moving around and thought her "ghost" was making noise. This line carries more significance when the ending is known; Cooper truly was Murph's ghost the whole time.
While leaving home, Cooper says to Murph that "once you're a parent, you're the ghost of your children's future." In the end, it is revealed that Cooper was Murph's ghost all along.
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Cooper and Dr. Brand came back to Endurance after twenty-three years, four months, and eight days. This means that their entire mission on Miller's planet took around three hours and seventeen minutes (based on the plot's assertion that one hour on the planet equals seven years on Earth/Endurance).
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Hans Zimmer's soundtrack was so powerful, that many people stated that they cried during the docking sequence (when Endurance is spinning and the crew needs to dock their Ranger to it). In the initial release of the soundtrack, the full music of that sequence was not included. A few weeks after the release of the soundtrack, Zimmer added the music to the soundtrack, as a bonus track on the iTunes Deluxe Edition.
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Matthew McConaughey's children Levi McConaughey and Vida McConaughey appear in one of the final scenes, at Ellen Burstyn's bedside. Ellen caresses Levi's head.
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The escape method from the black hole, using the space ships jointly as thrusting power (and then leaving only one thrusting ship behind for Hathaway's character), resembles the escape method in 2010 (1984) (from one of Jupiter's changing moons) as well as one used in an animated Star Trek show.
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The original script of the Steven Spielberg version of this movie depicts an almost entirely different movie. Some examples include Murph being a boy, no humans are first sent into space (probes are) and a probe leads Cooper to the hidden N.A.S.A. base, which is on a remote island in California where Brand and Cooper deep-sea dive for parts. Also, the robots are much more human-like, featuring hands and shoulders. TARS is sucked into space early on when the ship gets stuck between two black holes (Gargantua and Pantagruel, named for two French mythical giants) immediately after entering the wormhole. Afterward, the crew, including an additional member named Roth, only visit the ice planet, where they discover that a Chinese mission had been there around thirty years prior, and seemed to have vanished, until it is learned that they were killed by the radiation of a neutron star. The crew falls through the ice into an entirely different ecosystem with a living rearranging forest and colonial organisms that fight each other every night, compounding into larger organisms to reach a higher spot closer to the ice "sky" for sunlight in the day. After searching the area, they find an abandoned Chinese camp with an experimental black box that can control gravity, and are then discovered by Chinese robots who sabotage their return home with the box. The crew orbits a black hole for hundreds of Earth years before entering a second wormhole where they interact directly with the fifth dimension bulk beings who lead them to a four thousand-year-old space station built by the Chinese that's only a few hundred years old, due to space-time relativity, powered by a captured mini black hole that views galaxies as flat lines of light. The Chinese have built thousands of worm holes, and tried to travel back in time with the gravity technology to save all of Earth, but died in the process. Cooper returns to Earth, in the year 2230, to find a barren land with ice storms. He sits down prepared to die in the storm, then awakens in a manner similar to the movie, where he meets his great-great-grandson, rather than an aged Murph. After being bored with the new world, Cooper steals a ship to find Brand (the two had been intimate before Brand left Cooper, to continue to explore space, rather than return to Earth).
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When TARS and Romily are repairing the KIPP robot on Dr. Mann's planet, TARS warns, "get back, professor, get back!" Right before KIPP detonates, you can faintly hear it say, "please don't make me." Light is shed on what this means, in Christopher Nolan's since-released comic "Absolute Zero", an account of Dr. Mann's and KIPP's survey of the planet.
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One of the books visible on Murph's shelf is David Wroblewski's "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle". This book hints at key plot points, where the title character, who also lives on a farm, is aided in solving a mystery through the help of his deceased father's ghost.
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After revealing Professor Brand's dishonesty, Dr. Mann tells Amelia and Cooper that Brand's equation "couldn't reconcile relativity with quantum mechanics." Albert Einstein himself tried to answer this question. According to Walter Isaacson's biography, "[Einstein's] qualms about this new quantum mechanics, and his search for a unifying theory that would reconcile it with relativity and restore certainty to nature, would dominate - and to some extent diminish - the second half of his scientific career."
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When Cooper exits the wormhole back to Earth's solar system, the scene resembles the "star child" scene from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), which is referenced several times in this movie.
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The tesseract scene (which looks like a giant library, and allows Cooper to access his daughter's bookshelf in the past) bears some resemblance to the concept of L-space as described in Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" books. L-space (short for Library space) is the principle that the mass of information contained in a large collection of books warps space and time, and in consequence a sufficiently large library allows the visitor to access any library anywhere in space and time.
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In spite of TARS' humorous line about never leaving Dr. Brand behind, that's exactly what happens near the end when he is jettisoned into the black hole, Gargantua.
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Writer, Producer, and Director Christopher Nolan offered Jessica Lange the part of Elderly Murph at Matthew McConaughey's insistence, but turned it down due to her commitment with American Horror Story (2011).
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When inside the tesseract, during the black hole sequence, one of the books on the bookshelf is James Ellroy's "The Big Nowhere", clearly an allusion to where Cooper is at that moment.
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The scene near the end, when Cooper travels out of the tesseract, back through the wormhole, and touches Brand's hand resembles Michelangelo's "Creation of Adam" painting in the Sistine Chapel.
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The spaceship near the end of this movie resembles the spaceship in the Arthur C. Clarke novel "Rendezvous with Rama", a fifty kilometer (thirty-one mile) cylindrical alien spaceship, that can also carry a human colony to the stars.
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After solving the gravity equation, Murph shouts "Eureka!" This is a reference to a phrase used by the ancient Greek inventor Archimedes meaning, "I found it!" He said it after realizing that the volume of water displaced in a tub had to be equal to the volume of the submerged body part. By doing so, he was able to precisely measure the volume of irregular objects. It is also the state motto of California, in reference to gold being found near Sutter's Mill in 1848, triggering the California Gold Rush. In either context, the word has become synonymous with discovery.
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The first of two movies in which Matt Damon has played a stranded astronaut stuck on another planet, the other being The Martian (2015). Jessica Chastain appears in both of these films as well.
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Toward the end of the movie, when Cooper is walking toward the copy of his house on the space station, a series of screens on his path depict people narrating their experiences on Earth. On the last screen, for an instance, you can see someone who looks vaguely like Arthur C. Clarke, the writer of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). This is not actually Clarke, and is one of the people featured from the The Dust Bowl (2012) footage, possibly selected because of the resemblance.
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Dr. Mann emphasizes to Cooper, that before he dies, he will see his children, foreshadowing his actual reunion with Murph.
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In Timestalkers (1987), an historian researches clues of time travel in the past (from a remote, plausible future) which leads him to a top-secret military base and hangar. The plot device is similar (although it's a former pilot and, later, his astrophysicist daughter) to this movie. William Devane appeared in both movies.
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Cooper and TARS mention and incorrectly explain Newton's Third Law. His Third Law of Motion can be summarized as "For every action, there is an equal or opposite reaction." However, Cooper and TARS's rule ("you got to leave something behind") applies throughout the film: first, after the ship leaves earth (ship detaches from rocket to escape Earth's gravity before docking with Endurance), then on Miller's planet (Doyle), then on Mann's planet (Romily) and finally the black hole (TARS and Cooper).
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While Coop takes down time at (the orbital replica of) his homestead, the surroundings are curved upwards in Möbius-like angles. Elysium (2013), which also featured Matt Damon, had a similar, human settlement apart from Earth.
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One of the books seen in Murph's bookshelf, early in this movie is "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, and has to do with schools for girls. This ties into Murph's school troubles. Mortenson was later accused of fabricating accounts in "Three Cups of Tea" and its follow-up book, tying into Professor Brand and Dr. Mann's dishonesty.
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When Dr. Mann fails to dock perfectly, and the Endurance explodes, the pod that exploded may have significance. When looking at images of Endurance, it traditionally has the "arm" in the 3:00 position of the clock face the ship represents. The exploded pod therefore is at 10:00. This is interesting, as this is the tenth movie Christopher Nolan has directed. This may have been intentional, or an odd coincidence.
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