interstellar script differences steven spielberg christopher nolan and jonathan nolan

You can now see Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar in theaters, but the movie was originally developed by Nolan’s brother Jonathan Nolan for director Steven Spielberg. In fact, I first reported on the project almost eight and a half years ago. As the story goes, Spielberg got the idea for the film after attending a Caltech workshop. There, physicist Kip S. Thorne, an expert on relativity known for his prolific contributions to the fields of gravitation physics and astrophysics, presented his controversial theories about wormholes. Jonathan Nolan was hired to develop the screenplay for Spielberg, which he originally hoped to direct after Lincoln. Of course, that didn’t happen. Christopher Nolan explained how he got involved during a press conference I attended in Beverly Hills:

[I] was talking to Jonah [Nolan] about the script he was working on with Steven Spielberg at the time. We’d bounce ideas off each other and it sounded incredibly exciting … I had the advantage of coming onto the project late and being able to look at what these guys [Jonah Nolan and Kip Thorne] had done. A lot of my contribution was ripping things out, because they put in more of these incredible mind blowing ideas that, I felt, I could absorb as an audience member. So I spent my time and my work on the script choosing the more emotive and tactile of these ideas to grab ahold of. … [Jonah] got very busy doing other things so I said, ‘Hey can I take this and combine it with some other ideas I’ve been working on’ — it was a bit more like him going ‘okay, take a shot, we’ll see what you do.’ So I showed him what I had done and he seemed reasonably happy with it.

The reason Christopher Nolan shares the screenwriting credit on the final film with Jonathan Nolan is because he reworked the original script with substantial changes. This left me wondering about the evolution of the project, and how different Steven Spielberg’s version of the film might have looked. Of course, we’ll never see Spielberg’s version but Jonathan Nolan’s 2008 draft of the screenplay has been floating around the tracking boards for some time. Investigating that draft gives us an opportunity to see how the story changed from when Jonathan Nolan was working on it under Spielberg to Christopher Nolan’s final film.

What are the biggest differences and changes? Find out the 15 biggest Interstellar script differences, after the jump.

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Interstellar Nolan cockpit

“I think audiences get too comfortable and familiar in today’s movies,” said writer/director Christopher Nolan in 2002. “They believe everything they’re hearing and seeing. I like to shake that up.”

In nine films, Nolan has crafted a mathematician’s approach to luring audiences into realities only to question their very makeup. The films invariably follow similar characters: white guys of middle-age who have been deprived of family by violent means. These men deny truths about themselves and/or struggle to connect with the people closest to them. The term “auteur” is debased and often justly dismissed, but Nolan is one of the few who might earn the term — and even then there are big influences to factor in, such as his brother Jonathan Nolan, working partners David Goyer and Wally Pfister, and most importantly his wife and producing partner Emma Thomas.

On the eve of the release of Nolan’s latest film Interstellar, we’ve taken a look at it along with the other eight feature films that make up the bulk of his work. Read on for one examination of the films and find out how Christopher Nolan films ranked amongst his filmography.

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Zero Dark Thirty Chastain header

Jessica Chastain is one of the most popular and talented actresses working today. She’s in Interstellar this week, A Most Violent Year after that, then Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak and Ridley Scott’s The Martian next year. And those are just the confirmed ones.

When an actress has that much buzz surrounding her, you know the big guns come calling. And in Hollywood, these days, Marvel Studios has the biggest gun. Chastain confirmed in a new interview she’s spoken to Marvel about some possible things in the future, but she doesn’t want to play a secondary character. She wants to be a kick-ass hero with a costume and action scenes. However, even though she knows the Captain Marvel release year off the top of her head, she later said that was not the role she talked to them about.

But she did talk to them. So below, watch Chastain’s video interview talking about potentially working for Marvel and run through a few possible Jessica Chastain Marvel roles she could go. Read More »

15 Things We Learned About Christopher Nolan

Dark Knight Rises

This week a couple of good profiles have been published on Christopher Nolan in advance of his film Interstellar hitting theaters next week. The two main articles come from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and I recommend checking out both pieces. Together, the profiles feature a great deal of interesting information on the filmmaker and his latest film which I thought might be of interest. I have collected 15 of most interesting tidbits for you after the jump.

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marvel-event

On Friday afternoon, the movie press received an e-mail with the header “MARVEL STUDIOS INVITES YOU TO A SPECIAL EVENT” with the above invite. A mystery Marvel event, what could it be?

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Batman V Superman Wonder Woman

Warner Bros.’ news of the full DC Comics movie slate was big for many reasons. It showed a commitment to a brand fans know and love. It showed the scope of the company’s plan. And buried under all those names and dates, it showed a commitment to diversity. Among the films, Warner Bros. announced the first female solo superhero film as well as the first African-American superhero film since the superhero craze really kicked into gear. Those films, of course, are Wonder Woman and Cyborg.

If that’s not enough, it turns out Warner Bros. is looking for a female director to helm Wonder Woman, which will star Gal Gadot. Below, read more about that as well as five awesome choices for the Wonder Woman director chair. Read More »

The following post was originally published on February 24th 2014.

Mouse & Mystics and other board game movies that Hollywood should make

Which board game movies should Hollywood make next? Over the last year or so I’ve gotten sucked into the table top scene, and now have a board game addiction. I’m not talking about Monopoly or The Game of Life, but designer hobby board games that offer more strategy and theme than the games we all played as children.

Hollywood has dipped its toes into the board game movies a few times now. First with Battleship. It was such a huge bomb that Universal later dropped Monopoly, which was being developed for years by Ridley Scott. Universal is releasing the horror/thriller adaptation of Ouija produced by Michael Bay and Jason Blum. Universal and Warner Bros are both fighting to make a movie based on the role-paying game Dungeons & Dragons. And most recently, 20th Century Fox has announced they are brining the popular role-playing card game Magic: The Gathering to the big screen with the help of Simon Kinberg.

There are many reasons Battleship failed but I think first and foremost the audience refused to take the movie seriously after hearing the title. The studio clearly greenlit the project hoping to turn massive brand recognition into tickets sold, but it didn’t take a genius to realize that the 1930 board game didn’t have enough story to warrant a movie adaptation. So much so that director Peter Berg made up his own “alien invasion at sea” construct.

So if Hollywood is going to develop board game movies, why not look at some board games that offer deeper storytelling, more interesting scenarios and compelling characters? The list I have put together after the jump includes a bunch of board games that you might not have heard of, but are popular in the tabletop gaming world. Each of them has something to offer Hollywood if they wanted to bet on concept and story vs. huge branding.

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9 Current Movie and Television Trends I Hate

current movie tends and television trends

I’m a relatively positive guy. I love geeking out over the movies and television shows I really respond to, and I try to bring that enthusiasm to the site. But you can’t love everything. Here are 9 current movie trends (and also television trends) that I’m starting to hate.

Some of these things are Hollywood buzzwords that are current to this moment. Other things are storytelling cliches that have existed for a long time and either just won’t die or have somehow made big new homes in today’s pop culture landscape. And as the business of filmmaking evolves, so does the content, distribution and consumption of films. That leads to interesting times that aren’t without their annoyances. What current movie tends are annoying me as of late? Which television trends do I hate? Find out, after the jump.

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