One of our most anticipated films of the year, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is poised to be one of the most original movies of the year, and one that probably won’t be remembered for its limitations. Unsurprisingly, the film is also getting a bit of preferential treatment from Paramount Pictures. The studio recently announced that moving forward they will only release digital copies of movies to theaters. They’ll leave the slowly diminishing film print distribution to the rest of Hollywood. Interstellar, however, will be one of several exceptions to this new policy. I bet Nolan sent an assistant to the studio to balk for him instead of doing it himself, because, you know, he’s busy making awesome shit.
To reiterate a bit for those unaware, Paramount announced that it would become the first studio to completely phase out all film formats for their future releases. It’s a move that spits in the face of purity, though it doesn’t actually stop directors from using film to create their works, and is actually a hell of a lot cheaper for the studio. While a film print can cost upwards of $2,000, slapping those ones and zeroes onto a disc only costs around $100. As the L.A. Times puts it, movies may one day be beamed into cinemas by satellite, so it makes total financial sense for studios to start easing their way into a completely digital world. Formerly, only smaller films and documentaries were sent out solely as digital copies.
Interstellar is one of a handful exceptions that Paramount will allow, though it was the only one explicitly named at this point. It will be shipped out in both formats when it releases nationwide on November 7. Nolan also used IMAX cameras for this project, more so than he has in the past, though I’m not sure if that factored into Paramount’s decision. I’m thinking they know this will be one of their biggest earners of the year, and that it’s worth spending the money for the physical format if that is what certain people desire. And Nolan is a big enough fish he can do what he wants.
Last month’s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues was originally slated to be the last of the old breed, with Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street as the first completely digital release. At least that’s still a first for the studio, even if they end up allowing more film through than they’d originally said. I doubt Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will get the same exemption.
Starring Matthew McConnaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Ellen Burstyn, Michael Caine, and many more, Interstellar involves a group of scientists trying to find another world capable of growing plant life after Earth has been all used up. The actual plotline is still being kept under wraps, but we expect wormholes, deep space, and time travel, among other things. Try to wrap your brain around the film’s first teaser below.