... on 'Interstellar'
Christopher Nolan cast Matthew McConaughey after seeing his performance in Mud (2012). It was an "ideal moment" for Nolan when they landed a Texas native, McConaughey, for the lead role. "I'm thrilled for him right now. I didn't know how much potential he had until I saw Mud (2012), not just as a leading man but in sheer acting talent." He remarked that in McConaughey, he "needed an everyday man who can experience these extraordinary events."
Steven Spielberg, who was attached to direct the film in 2006 and hired Jonathan Nolan to write the screenplay, chose other projects instead. In 2012, after Spielberg's departure, Jonathan Nolan suggested the project to his own brother Christopher Nolan.
The method of space travel in this film was based on physicist Kip Thorne's works, which were also the basis for the method of space travel in Carl Sagan's novel "Contact", and the resulting film adaptation, Contact (1997). Matthew McConaughey stars in both films.
Christopher Nolan described the film as "an ode to human spaceflight" and cited multiple films as influence on the project: The films Metropolis (1927), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982) served as influence for the films depiction of science and space travel, while the films The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) and The Mirror (1975) influenced the human drama. Nolan also cited the Steven Spielberg films Jaws (1975) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) as films which manage to tackle serious subject matters while still appealing to all audiences as examples for him to emulate. Finally, Nolan screened a film print of The Right Stuff (1983) for the crew before shooting started to help them understand their roles in the film.
The robot personalities are inspired by Douglas Adams' universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), where the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation created the Genuine People Personalities ("GPP"), which imbue their robots with intelligence and emotion. The most recognized example in Douglas' universe is Marvin, a depressed android.
This is Christopher Nolan's first film since Following (1998) to not be filmed by cinematographer Wally Pfister, who was busy with his directorial debut Transcendence (2014). Nolan hired cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema to replace Pfister.
There are 15 differences from Steven Spielberg's unproduced version of 'Interstellar' and this one:
-Murph was male.
-A fallen space probe brings Cooper to NASA.
-The Lazarus Mission never occurred and instead, a series of space probes were sent through the wormhole to transmit data.
-The wormhole was tiny and sphere-shaped so the crew suffers from distortion while going through it.
-The mission only travels to the ice planet.
-Cooper finds a dusty Chinese base camp on the planet so the Chinese had already discovered the ice planet 30 years prior with a 4 man crew & 15 robots.
-They find a laboratory containing a machine, which when turned on reverses the gravity inside the room.
-Professor Brand has spent his whole life trying to solve the gravity equation which would allow Earth to launch a space station saving the lives of many people on the planet. The original story never had scientists on Earth looking to solve such an issue and the NASA base was not built in a centrifuge space station.
-Instead of the evil Dr. Mann showing up, there are aliens and bad robots.
-Everyone on Earth dies but the story does not cut away to show what is happening on Earth.
-The original story takes place entirely from Cooper's point of view. We never see any of the story elements of Murph & Prof. Brand back at home. The original story loses the emotional connection between father & daughter and instead explores much more fully the relationship of Cooper & Brand as it grows.
-A second wormhole is discovered through the Chinese crew's logs. They also eventually encounter orb distortions, possibly creatures that can only interact using gravity.
-The ship finds a space station built outside of space & time. It is an opening leading to the view of the entire universe compressed into a flattened disc. It is implied that they are now outside of space & time, looking from some kind of fifth dimension.
-They also discover a time traveling wormhole the Chinese robots found that goes back to earth but to a different time, a few years after they had left. It's unclear though if the Chinese made it back.
-Cooper arrives back on Earth, two hundred years after he has left and humanity is completely gone from the planet.