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Trivia / Interstellar

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  • Actor Allusion:
  • All-Star Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Ellen Burstyn, Michael Caine, Topher Grace, Casey Affleck, Matt Damon, John Lithgow, David Gyasi and Wes Bentley.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The pattern of dots on TARS' body is his name written in large—and presumably unraised—Braille.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Cooper is said to be around thirty-five. Matthew McConaughey was a full ten years older.
    • Murph is ten years old at the start of the film, and Mackenzie Foy was twelve when she filmed her scenes. Jessica Chastain however was the same age as her character for scenes where Murph is older.
    • Timothee Chalamet was eighteen playing Tom at fifteen.
  • Doing It for the Art:
    • Despite many studios pushing for digital cinematography, Christopher Nolan's preference for film stock still prevailed. Interstellar could very well be the last IMAX film projected on 70mm prints, due to the rapid conversion to digital the company has been going through; indeed, as IMAX is rolling out its new laser digital projectors, which can project films at a higher resolution than the older "LIEMAX" (as detractors have been known to call them) digital projectors (and with the additional advantage of otherwise behaving more like a 15/70 projector, complete with the original IMAX aspect ratio, in terms of giving viewers the IMAX experience), after this the distinction will no longer be between IMAX and "LIEMAX", but between traditional digital IMAX and miniature digital IMAX.
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    • A subversion came from the cornfield. Christopher Nolan grew 500 acres of corn for the scenes they'd be required for. Then when they were done with it, the corn was sold and actually made a profit.
  • Fake American: David Gyasi and David Oyelowo are British.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Matt Damon typically plays heroic characters. Here, he plays a cowardly antagonist who wants to leave Cooper and his friends to death. Examined here in this article (spoilers herein).
    • Also Michael Caine. In all the many Nolan movies he appeared in before he was always completely reliable and trustworthy, which makes it completely unexpected that he deceived everyone the whole time (though it was still for what he saw as a good cause, though in a Cold Equation sort of way).
  • Production Posse:
    • Several familiar faces show up again, such as Michael Caine and Hans Zimmer. One notable absentee is cinematographer Wally Pfister (who was busy with his own film Transcendence with Johnny Depp) who had shot every one of Nolan's films since Following.
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    • Anne Hathaway, Josh Stewart, Michael Caine, and William Devane all return to work with Nolan here after first collaborating with him on his previous feature (The Dark Knight Rises).
  • Real-Life Relative: Matthew McConaughey's two children cameo as Murph's family at the end.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: An interesting version of this trope. In an attempt to create a visually-astounding black hole, Kip Thorne (producer, and theoretical physicist) used the most accurate, currently-known equations to simulate it. What came out was unlike anything any previous depiction has shown, and was initially thought to be a rendering error. Instead, it was so accurate Dr. Thorne thinks he can get a research paper published from the results.
  • Reality Subtext: The school that Murph and Tom attend is called Longview School, and is an actual school in Alberta where the movie was filmed. Matthew McConaughey had also attended a Longview school in Texas.
  • Stock Footage: The pre-recorded interviews with the old folks, who talked about the harsh farming conditions of their time, were actually from Ken Burns' documentary The Dust Bowl.
  • Throw It In!: Christopher Nolan decided to be more spontaneous with IMAX in this film. With previous projects, he would carefully select scenes that he felt would be enhanced by the format and map them out in detail in order to work around the IMAX cameras' weight (which limited camera movement) and loud noise (which limited dialog). With Interstellar, Nolan decided to have an IMAX camera and film stock on standby just in case he felt that a scene required it at the last minute. Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema was able to add to the looser feel of this film's IMAX sequences by simply ignoring the camera's weight and carrying it around on his shoulder. Also, because the actors were often wearing helmets with interior mics, Nolan was able to shoot a lot of dialog heavy scenes in IMAX because he didn't have to worry about the camera noise interfering with audio pickups.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Steven Spielberg was originally attached to direct under the first script written by Jonathan Nolan. This makes certain twists in the third act make a lot more sense.
    • The original version had more humor, and featured the NSA (not NASA, the NSA) forcing the space mission. In addition, the time travel at the end was to be much, much more complex. There was also a bunch of things changed from the original script, such as:
      • Murph was supposed to be a boy.
      • We would've seen a young Dr. Brandt finding the wormhole in the film's original cold open.
      • A stray probe leads Cooper and Murph to NASA, not morse code.
      • Chinese astronauts as antagonists. They reach the planets before Cooper and his team does, but die from high radiation from a nearby star. On top of that, the Chinese had droids of their own that tried to stop the team when they tried to leave the planet with an invention that could save humanity.
      • Aliens were present.
      • Amelia and Cooper falling in love.
      • The original script suggested that TARS and CASE were more humanoid robots instead of the blocks we see in the film. The Chinese droids also had similar designs, which allowed one of them to sneak onboard disguised as CASE.
    • Bill Irwin also provided the voice for CASE in addition to TARS, but was later replaced by Josh Stewart.
    • Jonathan Nolan, who wrote the original script, revealed that the original ending to the film would have had Cooper trying to send the data back to Earth, only for the wormhole to collapse before he does so. No convoluted time travel plot or The Power of Love solving everything. Just a plain Downer Ending.
  • Working Title: It was filmed under the title "Flora's Letter".


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