It may not be out for another 17 months, but Christopher Nolan’s elaborate sci-fi project “Interstellar” is already — inevitably — generating enough excitement that any detail of its production is being seized upon by a ravenous internet. As these details go, the announcement that Hans Zimmer will be scoring the epic isn’t news so much as a virtual given, but it’s good to have it confirmed.
Also confirmed today (though reported a few months ago): the film’s release date of November 7, 2014. That will make it the first Nolan film to open outside the summer movie season since 2006’s “The Prestige.” “Insterstellar” will surely bring some blockbuster heat to the cooler weather, then, but could that date also make it a more viable awards season play?
Back to Zimmer, who is on board for his fifth collaboration with the big-thinking Brit. Following the news that Wally Pfister, Nolan’s regular cinematographer since “Memento,” will be sitting this one out in favor of talented Dutchman Hoyte van Hoytema (“Let the Right One In,” “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”), we couldn’t take all the director’s favorite collaborators for granted. (Pfister, incidentally, is unavailable because he’s working on his own directorial debut.)
Zimmer memorably scored all three entries of Nolan’s Batman trilogy (the first two in partnership with James Newton Howard) and 2010’s fantasy blockbuster “Inception” — the distinctively sonorous soundtrack of which earned Zimmer the most recent of his nine Oscar nominations. (His only win to date was for “The Lion King,” 18 years ago.)
He’s also, of course, scoring this summer’s Nolan-produced “Man of Steel” — we got an impressive tease of his work for that one a month ago. And it was at the press junket for Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot that Zimmer revealed that he’s already begun work on “Interstellar” — though he was obviously reluctant to say any more than that about a project that’s still largely shrouded in secrecy.
We know that the film, written by Nolan’s brother Jonathan, was once slated to be directed by Steven Spielberg, and that it’s based on a treatment by famed theoretical physicist Kip Thorne about a group of explorers who find a wormhole into another dimension of time and space. Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine (another talisman figure for Nolan) are lined up to star.
It should provide a suitably large canvas for Zimmer’s typically robust orchestrations; I personally thought his work on “The Dark Knight Rises” disappointingly rote, but that aside, he’s provided a commanding signature sound for Nolan’s transition into “big” cinema. Quirkier British composer David Julyan, meanwhile, provided the scores for all Nolan’s more modest outings, including “Memento” and “The Prestige.” But a true Hollywood blockbuster king needs a hefty trademark composer: Zimmer, it seems, is to Nolan what John Williams is to Spielberg.