How Did the Nolan Brothers Write 'Interstellar'?

'Interstellar'Credit: Warner Bros.
Sometimes the best ideas are drifting through space. 

Christopher Nolan has one of the most interesting minds on the planet. He came into Interstellar after it was a Steven Spielberg movie, and after his brother, Jonah Nolan, had worked on the script. Nolan took over the project, performed his own research, and collaborated with his brother, and wrote a movie full of heart, adventure, and scientific exploration. 

Interstellar is a 2014 epic science fiction drama. The film has been praised for documenting the wild science of our unknown universe in a dramatic and beautiful fashion.

Check out this video from Behind the Curtain, and let's talk after the jump. 

How Did Nolan Write Interstellar?

Science and movies are both interesting in their own right, but when you mix them together, it can be complicated. Lots of times scientific accuracy can ruin parts of a plot. But when you get both working in tandem, you can have an amazing story.

That's what Nolan's Interstellar does so well. It uses science with emotion to bring out the best parts of each. It's compelling, thought-provoking, and thrives on realism. 

So how did the Nolans do it? It took a heck of a lot of research and imagination. 

As Jonah Nolan told Creative Screenwriting Magazine, "We had grown up in the moment between 2001—which was made before we existed—and Close Encounters. Spectacular science fiction. But it felt a little like misanthropy had crept in there a little bit. Maybe we were an unlikely team to tackle something with a more positive take on sci-fi. But there is a bracing optimism to Interstellar—the next chapter in the human story will be optimism.”

But to do this, there was a lot more writing left. You had to take into account the people, the motives, the worldbuilding, and other hurdles along the way.

Christopher Nolan told The Hollywood Reporter:

"The project was originally developed by Lynda Obst. She’s great friends with Kip Thorne, an astrophysicist at CalTech, and their dream was to make a science-fiction film where the more outlandish concepts were derived from real-world science. They originally developed the film with Steven Spielberg at Paramount and they hired my brother to come up with a story and a script. He and I talk about everything, whether or not we’re working on it together, so I’d been hearing about it over the four years he worked on it, and I really felt that there was an extraordinary opportunity there to tell a very intimate story of human connection and relationships and contrast it with the cosmic scale of the overall events. So when I had the chance to get involved, I wanted to jump on it because I feel that those kinds of opportunities are very few and far between, where you really see what something could be, in terms of what the balance is between the emotional side of the story and the scale of the thing, the vastness of what the story tries to encompass."

The Nolans visited NASA, talked with Kip Thorn, and worked and reworked the script. They boiled it down to a story about family. Once he had the characters and stakes, he could build out the rest of the story from there. 

The human connection became their guiding light, and that's what developed the story. Once they had those pieces, they could start to lay the tracks for a tale that was a collaboration with reality and imagination. 

What are your favorite parts of the movie? Let us know in the comments.      

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1 Comment

They can see future.
lol

Thanks

September 14, 2021 at 12:30AM, Edited September 14, 12:31AM

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Cyra Khan
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