Back when the first teaser trailer for Christopher Nolan's “Interstellar” dropped, I asked if we'd be talking about the film come Oscar season. With a November release date and arguably the industry's top blockbuster/prestige filmmaker at the helm, it was a warranted question. Now with the second trailer we dive a little further into what this story is, how it will be told, and the excitement hops up another notch.
Nolan is still teasing here. He's still holding back quite a bit. Much of the trailer is focused on the human element, on an apparently disaster-stricken Earth where food is scarce and evacuation is imperative. We see Matthew McConaughey's character confronted with the reality that he's to be a part of a mission seeking answers beyond our horizons. “We must confront the reality that nothing in our solar system can help us,” Michael Caine says at one point. “We're not meant to save the world. We're meant to leave it.”
The trailer is running ahead of screenings of “Godzilla” this weekend, which is an interesting pairing. Someone coined a term for this brand of cinema recently (that I hope doesn't become a thing because it leads my mind to dirty places): “cli-fi.” Genre filmmaking focused on the effects of climate change on our planet. “Godzilla” is a parable about nature being beyond our control. “Interstellar” looks to be a story of what happens when the Earth truly succeeds in kicking us out of here, and that will make for some powerful thematic considerations, no doubt.
We get a taste of the sci-fi elements here, but just a taste. Again, Nolan is holding back. McConaughey dominates the trailer and we don't get strong looks at anyone else. There are fleeting glimpses of Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway in there, but this robust cast is still to be revealed. It also looks like Nolan's vision of faster-than-light travel (assuming that's what's going on with the shiny bubble thing in space) is going to be caught up in a frame of detail and realism, as far as it goes, and that's something else I'm really curious to see, how he plans to translate some of these particular elements to screen.
Basically, this is an extension of what we've seen with some added intrigue, but there's still so much more to discover. As ever, that's Nolan's way.
So, the question again: will we be talking about it in the season? Unlike his prior efforts, this will be a Paramount Pictures endeavor. And they play that game as good or better than anyone. Just last year they navigated yet another multiple-Best-Picture-nominee season, and this time around, they'll have a diverse slate. In addition to “Interstellar,” there will be Jason Reitman's “Men, Women & Children” (an ensemble piece that will cover new territory for the director). Rupert Wyatt's “The Gambler” could turn into something for them, and they've already started banging the drum for specific elements of Darren Aronofsky's “Noah.”
This will be the biggie, though, and I certainly hope it can deliver on the hype. Check out the trailer above.
“Interstellar” hits theaters November 7.