The Reason Interstellar Was Dumbed Down By Christopher Nolan

I’m still not sure I completely understand Christopher Nolan’s Inception. And I’m not just talking about the spinning top. The whole thing raised questions that haven’t yet been answered. So yeah, when I hear that Nolan’s experimenting with worm holes and galaxy hopping for his upcoming Interstellar, I’m a little worried that I won’t be able to keep up on an initial viewing.

Apparently, the director feels my pain. In a recent interview with THR in preparation for the release of Interstellar, Christopher Nolan explains how he felt like he had to simplify some of the larger concepts brought to him by theoretical physicist Kip Thorne and his own brother, Jonathan Nolan, for the original Interstellar screenplay draft. Nolan talks at length about the science of Interstellar with the trade magazine, and admits:

Kip's research into the mathematical possibility of wormholes, the fact they can exist, gives you a way that this could happen and was essential to the jumping-off point in the story. When I came to the project, [Kip] and Jonah had worked on a vast array of ideas involving a lot of the different things you're talking about. And one of the most important parts of my job was to say: ‘OK, we can't use all of this. I'm going to have to choose.’"

That sound you hear is the collective heart of die-hard, uber-sci-fi fans cracking ever so slightly at the notion that Christopher Nolan had to discard some of the more complicated elements proposed by Kip Thorne for the filmable Interstellar screenplay. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be incredibly challenging (and hopefully rewarding) science-fiction conversations engaged in the movie. It just means that Nolan – an incredibly intelligent director – still had to work as a filter between the pure science of Interstellar and the realisitic visuals that he could bring to an audience.

Like, can a human being travel at the speed of light.

"We would get into long debates about, [can] you go faster than the speed of light, and those kind of questions are a little frustrating to a physicist," Nolan explains. "We'd meet pretty regularly while I was writing. [But] certainly when Matthew came on board, the more focus it seemed to give on who these people are as human beings."

That’s what we’re starting to expect out of Interstellar, which has been screening for select groups (and earning rave reviews). A heady trip to the farthest reaches of our galaxies that also appeals to the heart beating in each audience member. The movie opens in theaters in November 4.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.