INTERSTELLAR Comic-Con Panel Recap: Christopher Nolan Surprises with First Ever Comic-Con Appearance; Debuts New Trailer

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The Paramount panel at Comic-Con today was not packed.  The program didn’t specify what the studio was showing.  We assumed that they would be bringing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and then it wasn’t too much of a surprise when they also featured Project Almanac, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, and even Hot Tub Time Machine.  It was a nice bit of promotion when Dwayne Johnson came on stage to tell people he was hosting free screenings of Hercules tonight at three theaters.  People love Dwayne Johnson.  And maybe if he was announced on the program, it could have packed the hall.

If Paramount had announced the final panel of its presentation, I would have had to line up well before sunrise.  Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey were here.  Hit the jump for my Interstellar Comic-Con panel recap. 

interstellar-posterThis was the last panel of Paramount’s presentation, and as I said, no one knew it was coming.  But then the moderator brought on Matthew McConaughey, whose first Comic-Con appearance was greeted with a standing ovation.  Here’s what we learned from his brief Q&A with the moderator:

  • He got involved when he got a call from his agent saying that Nolan wanted to meet him.  He spent about three hours with Nolan just talking about everything but Interstellar.  About a week later he read the script and liked it.
  • Cooper, his character, is a pilot, engineer, and widowed father of two children.  He’s living a world where civilization can only sustain.  It doesn’t have any “new, bright ideas.”  Then the dream of being a pilot comes knocking at his door, but that means he has to leave his family behind.
  • On working with Nolan, “He’s always out for original.  Everything he has to do, it has to be original.”  McConaughey says Nolan also works by his instincts and they moved fast.  They would do two or three takes max.  He also says it’s “by far the most ambitious film Mr. Nolan has ever directed.”  I had no idea that Nolan did so few takes, and that astounds me, especially when it’s for a massive blockbuster.

Then McConaughey introduced Christopher Nolan, who had also never been to Comic-Con before and also received a standing ovation.  “I came to see what all the fuss was about, and judging by the crowd, I’m not disappointed,” said Nolan.

  • Says he’s always been a huge fan of sci-fi.  He said that when growing up, being an astronaut was the highest ambition anyone could have, and pushing out further into the galaxy was inevitable.  He liked the idea that we’re on the cusp of a brand new era of exploration.
  • interstellar-christopher-nolanOne of his goals was trying to recreate the reality of what this space mission will be.  “I’m not going to tell you what [the technical challenges] are because I want you to come see the movie.”  But he says he wanted to give the actors as much reality as possible in being involved in this kind of journey.  Notes that a film that’s about a journey through the stars has to be an experience for the audience.  IMAX is a big part of trying to accomplish that.  “You need the biggest canvas possible,” says Nolan.
  • “I think no film is finished until it goes to its audience,” so he’s not sure what Interstellar is to him yet, but it is about what it means to be human and our place in the universe.

Audience Q&A Highlights: 

  • Kip Thorne was a scientific consultant on the film, and there were “intense” conversations about how to display things accurately but not so obtusely that it would alienate the audience.
  • Nolan didn’t want to give too complete a list of his influences, “because then you’ll just see all the things I ripped off,” but he did mention 2001, Star Wars, and Blade Runner.  “But really the whole gamut.”  However, he singles out 2001 as the biggest influence.  “It was such a memorable experience for me,” says Nolan.  They want to tell a similarly ambitious story in size and scale.
  • Nolan says dealing with “psychology” in his movies wasn’t a conscious choice.  He’s more interested in people, and subjectivity vs. objectivity. “How we’re each imprisoned in our own subjective reality.”

New Trailer

interstellar-matthew-mcconaugheyThis latest trailer did a great job of blending both the awe-inspiring spectacle of the cosmos with the intimate story of a father trying to save his family.  The trailer really stresses the difficulty Cooper has in leaving his family, especially his daughter Murphy, because he has to save the world, but he doesn’t know when (or if) he’ll ever come back.  I even choked up a bit when he tells Murphy, “I’ll love you forever.”  This is all intercut with new footage that’s special effects heavy and looks breathtaking.  The individual beats of the plot are still unclear, and I’m absolutely fine with that.  It’s far more effective to show a mix of human triumph and stunning effects while we hear voiceover of Michael Caine reading “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.”

We don’t know when the trailer is going to hit, but you’ll probably dig it when you see it.  I’m glad I got to see the trailer, and even if I hadn’t been sleep-deprived, this would have jolted me awake.

Click here to catch up on all of our Comic-Con 2014 coverage thus far.




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  • jk

    Really looking forward to this if Nolan is heavily influenced by 2001. Hope this is as “hard science fiction” as it sounds.

  • Harry

    I want to be excited for this. I do. I’m a Nolan fan, but his weakest part of filmmaking is emotion. He’s never made a tearjerker like Darabont did with Shawshank and Mile, or Zemeckis with Gump and Cast Away. The story obviously will focus on the bonds of his family and emotion, I just hope Nolan can finally make something emotional and not just awesome because of how dark it is or how cool the concept is.

    • MJ

      You must have missed TDKR and Inception then. Had tears in my eyes towards the end of both of those movies.

      Green Mile was lame.

      • Reall Talk

        ” Had tears in my eyes towards the end of both of those movies.” LOL!

      • Mike

        HAHA LET’S ALL PICK ON THIS GUY FOR HAVING HUMAN EMOTIONS! LULZTARDS UNITE!

      • Real Talk

        Nah, Mike, I’m laughing at an entitled white bread pussy piece of shit who would shed tears over a comic book movie based on a cartoon strip originally intended for children. That’s right Mike and MJ, I don’t take the emotional reaction you had to a comic strip based on a child’s cartoon seriously. I think you should grow up. I think you should act like adults. I think that it’s stupid and you are stupid for elevating it beyond what it was originally intended for: entertainment for children. I will never take it seriously. You’re both emotionally and intellectually stunted. Grow up. Please, grow up. This comic book shit is stupid and there’s no point in pretending it’s not. Please, for the love of all that is good; grow up and progress as adults.

      • Dicks

        Yeah, where’s a fictionalised story about Tom Hanks getting caught on an island, or sitting on a bench? Anyone that cries at that is a real man.

        All of you should go read some books, wander through some galleries, experience the great outdoors and fuck off from one another ’til you can learn some mutual respect.

      • Robert

        “LOL!” You are pretty sad.

      • jmd

        what is it with you two? grow up…your both allowed to have opinions, but stop bickering like little children

      • Harry

        I did in TDKR but out of awe more than sadness. Once I realized they didn’t kill Wayne I’ve never had those tears again. Inception never did it for me emotionally, but it was still an awesome movie.

    • JAB

      I get misty-eyed watching the 2 trailers that have already come out. “Inception” caught me off guard by how much I felt for Cobb & his aching heart. There’s a lot more feeling in Nolan’s films than you might think (feel?).
      You’re right in a way. I think of Nolan as much more Kubrickian than Spielbergian.

      • Munier Sharrieff

        Totally agree. The second trailer for Interstellar gets me misty eyed as well. Hans Zimmer’s score and that line “I will love you forever”, plus what’s at stake. Can not wait!

      • Harry

        In the 2nd trailer, it wasn’t Hans Zimmers score. They used a piece from V for Vendetta.

      • Munier Sharrieff

        Wow, I need to watch V for Vendetta again. Thanks. I read that Zimmer started writing music early, assumed that was it.

      • Harry

        You’re welcome! I am excited to hear Zimmer’s score for it. He said he’s veering away from percussion in this one, and I feel his best tracks are the ones he stays away from drums.

      • Harry

        You’re welcome! I am excited to hear Zimmer’s score for it. He said he’s veering away from percussion in this one, and I feel his best tracks are the ones he stays away from drums.

      • Harry

        You’re welcome! I am excited to hear Zimmer’s score for it. He said he’s veering away from percussion in this one, and I feel his best tracks are the ones he stays away from drums.

      • Harry

        Your comparison is true, but that’s not a bad thing. Not every director needs to be a Kubrick, or a frequent tearjerker, but I’m just hoping Nolan accomplishes this one because as much as he mentions 2001, the film looks way more Spielberg than Kubrick.

      • BigJimSlade

        Nolan is like Michael Bay without the heart or ability to tell a decent story. He’s no more Kubrickian than my dog.

        Seems like the guy has been writing his screenplays backwards since Memento. Just comes up with a end gimmick and writes some arbitrary scenes until he can fill 2 hours of time.

        Cobb had a heart? I don’t think I ever saw all of either the last Batman movie and I turned off the dream-exposition movie with the anonymous dream soldiers and cardboard cutout characters around the second or third mindless shootout.

        Only time I’ve had a tear in my eye from his movies is from yawning.

    • Chris

      I agree, his movies are just not for mature audiences, practically devoid of emotional weight and humor. He also tends to work with underwhelming actors. His movies are technical and not character driven. I don’t get the hype about him at all!

      • lord jim

        well michael caine, tom wilkinson, rutger hauer, gary oldman, john lithgow, matthew macconaughey, guy pearce… are all excellent actors.i agree that his movies are not exactly for grown ups (and not in the slightest way comparable to kubrick) but he did have an interesting start with memento, and insomnia was one of the better remakes and one of the better performances by robin williams and al pacino, until the pathetic happy ending.but since he´s working with big budgets his movies are made for kids, “the dark knight” was like “heat” for children, and his lack of imagination was obvious when he made a movie about dreams that played out like james bond with too much exposition.still i do love science fiction that´s not based on spaceship fights and macconaughey is great.2001, the original solaris or even moon it won´t be, but let´s hope for the best.

    • Lol

      “He’s never made a tearjerker like Darabont did with Shawshank and Mile, or Zemeckis with Gump and Cast Away.”

      So, you’re affected by totally sickly saccharine mush and you wish Nolan would ruin his films by forcing such nonsense into his films? Great.

      • Harry

        None of his movies required any mush before. Interstellar does. There’s no dream within a dream plotline to keep us enthralled. This movie is focusing on a father/child bond and that father leaving them behind to save mankind. If there’s no emotion, the movie will be empty. Nolan’s other movies didn’t require to be emotionally moving, they were awesome in other aspects.

      • Harry

        And Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile, Forrest Gump, and Cast Away are not even close to being nonsense. 2 of those are classics, there’s no denying it, and The Green Mile and Cast Away were two of Hanks’ best, along with Saving Private Ryan, or was Ryan just nonsense too because the ending made us feel?

      • Lol

        There is denying it, it’s called ‘opinion’ you fuckin’ jerk-off.
        Just because you adhere to what the iMDB’s top 250 is at any given moment doesn’t mean others have to.

        And I’m not saying movies can’t be emotional – I’m saying films like Shawshank, Gump (especially), Green Mile and Cast Away are SACCHARINE and MANIPULATIVE; they are not especially emotional films, in my opinion.

        You’re welcome to ‘em. I’ve always found Shawshank an over-rated, over-long, jerk-off kind of a movie.

      • Harry

        Whoa, why the insults? Classics are just classics dude, I didn’t say that no one can deny the greatness, I spoke only of being a classic. I could care less for Jaws but I know it’s a classic.

      • Lol

        There is denying it, it’s called ‘opinion’ you fuckin’ jerk-off.
        Just because you adhere to what the iMDB’s top 250 is at any given moment doesn’t mean others have to.

        And I’m not saying movies can’t be emotional – I’m saying films like Shawshank, Gump (especially), Green Mile and Cast Away are SACCHARINE and MANIPULATIVE; they are not especially emotional films, in my opinion.

        You’re welcome to ‘em. I’ve always found Shawshank an over-rated, over-long, jerk-off kind of a movie.

    • Lol

      “He’s never made a tearjerker like Darabont did with Shawshank and Mile, or Zemeckis with Gump and Cast Away.”

      So, you’re affected by totally sickly saccharine mush and you wish Nolan would ruin his films by forcing such nonsense into his films? Great.

    • Sten

      Kubrick didn’t do emotional either. So…

      • Harry

        And I stated above not every director needs to. My point is Interstellar is focusing on this father/child bond, and if Nolan fails to deliver the emotion, which isn’t his strong point, then the movie won’t be as good as it can be. Kubrick never set out to make something emotional and he’s still great. If Nolan sets out to make a comedy (which will never happen), and it isn’t funny, then the movie didn’t work. So if this isn’t emotional, what do we have? McConaughey in space? We need to feel what he’s leaving behind or else the movie will be empty. This isn’t the case for every movie, but for Interstellar it is.

      • Harry

        And I stated above not every director needs to. My point is Interstellar is focusing on this father/child bond, and if Nolan fails to deliver the emotion, which isn’t his strong point, then the movie won’t be as good as it can be. Kubrick never set out to make something emotional and he’s still great. If Nolan sets out to make a comedy (which will never happen), and it isn’t funny, then the movie didn’t work. So if this isn’t emotional, what do we have? McConaughey in space? We need to feel what he’s leaving behind or else the movie will be empty. This isn’t the case for every movie, but for Interstellar it is.

    • Sten

      Kubrick didn’t do emotional either. So…

  • Steven Ray Morris

    Great write up Matt!

  • MAC

    You didn’t mention this Matt; was this in Hall H?
    Any guess how many people, capacity is of 6000, right?

    • Vulcan

      Matt is only covering Hall H this year, so all of his panels are the Hall H ones. And your second question doesn’t make any sense.

      • bidi

        Matt said the Paramount panel wasn’t at capacity. so since the Hall holds about 6,000, he’s wondering about how many people were actually in the Hall

    • MJ

      Not understanding you second comment?

      • Derp

        Derp?

      • Moron

        Moron?

      • Fuck

        Fuck?

  • theseeker7

    kinda interesting to consider, I’d have to say David Fincher and Christopher Nolan are my two favorite directors working today, and to know the latter does so few takes on a given shot, while the former can routinely do dozens of them (infamously doing a full one hundred for the opening conversation of The Social Network).

    • randommale7

      The thing with the opening scene of the social network is that even though it was 99 takes it was split up into many different shots, they just played the whole scene through and I’m sure they messed up several of those takes.

  • Cristy0010

    Damn! I’d have loved to be there! I can imagine how people react when they saw Chris Nolan. Glad that you liked the new trailer. I can’t f***ing wait to see this film. It’s one of my must see films of 2014.

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  • MJ

    WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bad day for the Nolan Haters, and a great day for the rest of us!

    #1 Movie I am looking forward to this year !!!!!

    • Teaser For Interstellar

      Real Cinema Lying in A Hospital Bed Wearing an Oxygen Mask: “We were in this together…and then you were gone..Now dickless cowards who don’t know their own anuses from a hole in the ground, like MJ, rises. Chris Nolan Super Fraud has to come back”
      Chris Nolan Super Fraud: “What if he doesn’t exist any more?”
      Real Cinema: “He must…he must”

      • MJ

        Anybody have a Universal Translator that has “dumb-ass” as a language option on it??

      • Real Talk

        “I’m going to use the same comeback twice in the same thread because I’m a pederast piece of dog shit” MJ.
        Bold words, Mj.

      • MJ

        Anybody have a Universal Translator that has “dumb-ass” as a language option on it???

      • MJ

        Anybody have a Universal Translator that has “dumb-ass” as a language option on it???

      • Robert

        In that hospital, you were the enema bag.

    • BigJimSlade

      Why is it a bad day for Nolan Haters?

  • JAB

    This has been far & away the film I’ve been looking forward to this year. We have films by Bennett Miller & David Fincher just to name 2 off the top of my head to look forward. “Unbroken” looks amazing. This looks like Nolan’s reach for the stars. Besides McConnaughey co-starred in “Contact” which is 1 of my favorite movies of all-time along with “2001″ &, of course, “BladeRunner”.

    • MJ

      I agree 100%

      • Wise Seer

        You best button down the hatches, bro. Chris Nolan Super Fraud is going to be all up in Interstellar comments come this November. You Jimmies will obtain maximum rustle.

      • MJ

        Anybody have a Universal Translator that has “dumb-ass” as a language option on it?

      • Lulz at MJ

        Hahaha, I like how you used the same reply twice in the same comment section. Lame unoriginal pussy. Just like Nolan. Lulz.

      • Grow Up

        And you keep saying “Chris Nolan Super Fraud” as if it’s the funniest shit anyone has ever had to say about the film industry, or a particular director.

        Grow up.

      • Grow Up

        And you keep saying “Chris Nolan Super Fraud” as if it’s the funniest shit anyone has ever had to say about the film industry, or a particular director.

        Grow up.

      • MJ

        Anybody have a Universal Translator that has “dumb-ass” as a language option on it?

      • MJ

        Anybody have a Universal Translator that has “dumb-ass” as a language option on it?

      • Lulz at MJ

        Hahaha, I like how you used the same reply twice in the same comment section. Lame unoriginal pussy. Just like Nolan. Lulz.

      • Eskay

        Huh ???

      • Real Talk

        Duuur? I’m too stupid to understand basic syntax- Eskay

      • MJ

        Based on your writing, you – Real Talk – actually probably are…

      • MJ

        Based on your writing, you – Real Talk – actually probably are…

      • Real Talk

        Duuur? I’m too stupid to understand basic syntax- Eskay

  • Faptain America

    Goldberg cried. I am there.

  • Strong Enough

    Da gawd!

    • Real Talk

      So you’ve spent the better part of five years at minimum constantly on these boards. Now, ask yourself: is it really worth it? Could you have accomplished something in that half decade that’s worth a damn? The answer: no. No, because you’re worthless and stupid. That’s just shooting straight. No fanboy fanatism. The most you can hope to accomplish in the worthless meandering that constitutes your existence is to be the first to comment on a fourth tier internet fanboy site that fails to garner recognition among the general public. You’re a fraud. A worthless, half-wit fraud.

      • Arthur Dent

        Says the douche with nothing better to do. You da man!

  • grapes9h5

    I dont know if its possible to be as “in” on this movie as I feel about it right now.

  • DEADP00L

    Matt CRIED?! … as in CRYING TEARS!!??? …I will not tempt myself… I will NOT see a GLIMPSE until its out!!

    • Real Talk

      Shut the fuck up you piece O shit. Stop pretending to be deadpool online. It won’t fill the empty void at the heart of your existence. You’ll still be a worthless piece of shit when you wake up in the morning. No amount of pretending to be a comic book character will change that.

      • DEADP00L

        Oh you have hurt my feelings … *eyeroll*

        Sounds like somebody got his butt banned for being a projecting poo poo.

      • Dinkleburg

        Stop harassing people online to validate your own shite existence. No amount of pretending to be better than other people will make it so.

  • TigerFIST

    Good

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  • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

    That must of been an awesome surprise to have McCounaghey and Nolan give a presentation on Interstellar.

  • Movieguide®

    You can check out the entire panel discussion here! It’s great! – buff.ly/1zdbHUL

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  • Donkey Trainer

    That’s because your job involves putting on donkey shows for the people too poor or lazy to go down to tijuana and watch it live. Seriously, though, if i had to choose between owning a brand new car while swallowing horse semen 5 nights a week versus just driving a regular car without the horse semen diet . . . . i’d stick with my regular car.

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