Christopher Nolan Pisses Off Theater Owners And Delivers New Interstellar TV Spot

By Brent McKnight | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Interstellar is one of our most anticipated movies, not just of this year, but of just about any in recent memory. We’re seriously, stupidly pumped up for this one, even if it is 169-minutes long. And as we’re just about a month away, the promotional hype machine is kicking into high gear, and hot on the heels of that incredible final trailer earlier this week, we’ve got another new TV spot and two new pictures. As stoked as we are, however, not everyone is pleased with the Dark Knight Rises director’s new film, and movie theater owners specifically have a beef with him.

In the near future, global climate change has progressed to the point where the world will no longer be able to sustain human life. As a result, a group of explorers, including star Matthew McConaughey, blast off through a newly discovered wormhole in search of a new world to colonize. The movie is full of big themes, high stakes, and important ideas. It’s the kind of ambitious sci-fi movie that makes us drool. That’s what we know of the plot, and those details are also driven home in this TV spot, which may be shorter than the trailer, but it’s still stunning.

The central focus here, however, is not only on what lies out there in the unknown, but what these adventurers are leaving behind, and why they’re doing what they do. In Cooper’s (McConaughey) case, that includes his family, and you see the dynamic between him and his daughter (he also has a son, but he’s never been featured as prominently in the promotion).

InterstellarHis daughter also figures into these two photos. We suspected this might be the case, but we recently learned from another TV spot that travelling through the wormhole messes with time. Consequently, Murph, Cooper’s little girl, is seen at multiple ages, played by multiple actresses—Mackenzie Foy as a youngster, and Jessica Chastain as an adult. And you can see both in these photos.

InterstellarEarlier this week it was announced that though Interstellar officially opens on November 7, some theaters will get it two days early, on November 5. This was big news for fans of film—actual celluloid, not just movies—because these early screenings will be exclusively film projections—70mm IMAX, 70mm, and 35mm. Nolan has always been a big proponent of film, so this isn’t a huge surprise, but the move has pissed off a number of theater owners.

In order to show the film early, theaters will, obviously, need to be equipped with film projectors. But that’s not the way the industry has been going, and many theaters have spent quite a bit of money—something that is never easy to come by in a time of diminishing box office revenue—to make the conversion to fully digital. Instead of an attempt to preserve a piece of movie history, some are calling this a step backwards.

Joe Paletta, CEO and founder of the small Georgia-based chain Spotlight Theaters, which are all digital now, told THR, “This devalues what we’ve done. I can’t afford to get the projectors out of the warehouse for two days, and I don’t even have anyone to operate them.” And Paletta is far from the only one voicing his opinion.

Paramount’s vice chairman Rob Moore responds, “Interstellar plays spectacularly, and we have a filmmaker who loves film, so we wanted to take a moment to showcase film as an important part of our heritage.”

In a time when studios are discontinuing distribution of hard copies of films, opting for fully digital, there are still a few filmmakers, like Nolan and Quentin Tarantino, among others, staunch advocates of film over digital, who have enough clout to pull off a move like this. They, however, are getting fewer and farther between, and for all the bellyaching, a situation like this is, by far, a rare occurrence.