Matthew McConaughey Wanted Audiences To Think His Super Bowl Ad Was For Interstellar 2

Matthew McConaughey is teaming up with the software company Salesforce for a new ad that will air during the Super Bowl, but the actor wanted people to think they were seeing a TV spot for "Interstellar 2." According to McConaughey, hooking viewers with a tease of the non-existent sequel to his 2014 science fiction film with Christopher Nolan was all part of his greater agenda to raise awareness of deeper societal problems.

"Interstellar" involves McConaughey's pilot protagonist, Coop, leading a mission to find another inhabitable planet in the furthest reaches of space, after crop blights have left humanity subsisting on a diet of corn soufflé here on Earth. "We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars," Coop says. "Now we just look down, and worry about our place in the dirt."

McConaughey's Salesforce commercial, which you can see below, goes the opposite way. It starts out in space with him wearing an astronaut's helmet, before bringing the audience back down to Earth — in a hot air balloon. In an interview with Variety, McConaughey explained:

"I wanted this misdirect at the beginning. I wanted it to open and look very serious and in space because we're about to pull the rug out from under you. Some people are going to think this is going to be the trailer for 'Interstellar 2.' "

'A Lot of Us Are Looking to Escape'

The ad begins with a look at the cosmos, as we hear the familiar notes of "Also Sprach Zarathustra," a piece of music heavily associated with Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey." That's an immediate cue that this is a tongue-in-cheek commercial and it somewhat ruins the "Interstellar 2" fake-out if that's what they were going for.

For McConaughey, the bigger issue is escapism in the face of society's mounting problems. He explained his intent further, saying:

"I hope they go, 'Look, what McConaughey and Salesforce is saying, is there is a problem in society today. Our relationship with each other, our relationship with the environment is fragile, man. We got a lack of trust, we got a lack of fairness. We got a lack of sustainable innovations. We have a lack of values.'

A lot of us are looking to escape and get the hell out of here or maybe look the other way. You know what? They're right! But we can look around at our earthly challenges and look those in the eye and say, 'Let's handle this and restore what we got going here. We're not ready to quit.' Hopefully businesses will see this and are urged and nudged to make a commitment to making life here on Earth more fair, equal, and sustainable."

For some reason, all of this makes me think of the new trailer for "Jurassic World Dominion," yet another legacy sequel that recycles shots and brings back stars from a classic old movie (while involving Earth's previous inhabitants, the dinosaurs, now extinct). I read somewhere recently that nostalgia is a "crisis emotion," and there's a lot of nostalgia going around in Hollywood these days. Maybe some of it comes from the real-world crisis all around us.

This Salesforce ad plays directly into that. It says: hey, #TeamEarth, don't look to the metaverse or Mars or "Interstellar 2" to save you. Plant a tree, why don't you?!