Christopher Nolan, working from a script written by his brother Jonathan in 2008 (and intended for Steven Spielberg), will be bringing this near-future sci-fi story Interstellar to the screen. In this first trailer, we hear Matthew McConaughey (who has officially aged out of "Abs Guy" and into something far more interesting) describe the metaphorical power of space travel and its endless possibility.
Nolan is known for his powerful images and for how he incorporates his theorhetical ideas into his narratives. Here, he has tapped into the American desire for exploration, even subtly reinforcing with McConaughey's speech the Manifest Destiny arrogance of deserving to explore and take over new worlds.
Let's work our way through Nolan's historical images and parse what they might mean for the film's themes.
The Dust Bowl: Much of Nolan's actual footage takes place in cornfields, including one that is burning. Global warming and other natural disasters could spur the characters to pursue space travel as the only way to find new resources for sustaining human life.
Speed of Sound: Perhaps this is a reference to wormhole/time travel, which would allow a vehicle to travel faster than the speed of light, the next major barrier in the way of long-distance space exploration.
Mercury Capsule: The first man in space, alone in his small capsule. Other big names in the cast like Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain imply this won't be intimate like Gravity, but any space travel story incorporates some claustrophobia and cramped quarters.
Gemini 2: An unmanned American mission, launched in 1965 and intended for the testing of the spacecraft's endurance under suborbital heat and pressure; noteworthy primarily for withstanding multiple flights.
Neil Armstrong and Crew: Obviously Armstrong and the rest of his fellow astronauts are famous for being the first crew to set foot on the moon.
Moon Landing: And that's how they got there, in probably the most iconic spacecraft of American history, the Intrepid. Fitting that this comes while the voiceover is all about hope, potential, and optimism — because that's what this image evokes in us.
Atlantis: The final journey of space shuttle Atlantis, which to many represented the close of NASA's golden age of exploration. Nolan's film will be either rewriting history so that this age never ended or figure out a reason how NASA is able to afford this renewed energy for human space travel — perhaps by incoporating corporatism into their science, as we see today with short space trips available to consumers for a steep price.
Nolan is using very carefully chosen images to introduce his story, they just happen to not be the images he shot. It's an evocative way to make a trailer, and hopefully we've accurately parsed out a few of his themes.
Jamie Foxx is the true purveyor of the American dream. The man started out as a mentally ill derelict but might now serve as the president of the United States of America. Deadline reports that Foxx is in talks to join the cast of Roland Emmerich's White House Down, an action-thriller about a militant group that invades the White House in an attempt to capture the first family. Channing Tatum is already set to play the central character, a Secret Service agent who defends the POTUS (I've been watching a lot of Veep).
Foxx might be the next to join Hollywood's Hall of Presidents — a community diverse in many ways, most of all competence. Here's a quick look back at some of the other fine actors who have led the United States of America through some of its most trying, yet highest grossing, periods in national history... to varying degrees of success.
Harrison Ford (Air Force One)
Served During: The Great Plane Exodus
Campaign Slogan: “Get off my plane… and on my bandwagon!”
Legacy: Terrorists running scared.
Donald Sutherland (The Hunger Games)
Served During: The Games of Hunger
Campaign Slogan: “This is pretty much a dictatorship, so you don’t really have a choice.”
Legacy: A whole lot of kids killing each other and widespread famine, but a big boost in the entertainment industry.
Stanley Anderson (The Rock and Armageddon)
Served During: AlcaGate, and The Meteor Crisis of 1998
Campaign Slogan: “Where there is a Michael Bay movie, I will preside over it.”
Legacy: I'm sure he'll get another shot in Ninja Turtles.
Morgan Freeman (Deep Impact)
Served During: The Other Meteor Crisis of 1998
Campaign Slogan: “It doesn’t even matter what I say, you love my voice. I support book burning and nuclear war. You’ll still elect me.”
Legacy: Nobody remembers. Damn Ben Affleck movie...
Jack Nicholson (Mars Attacks!)
Served During: The Golden Age of Tim Burton
Campaign Slogan: “You can't handle the — wait, that's not right. Here's Johnny?”
Legacy: He gave the world Natalie Portman.
Peter Baker (The Day After Tomorrow)
Served During: The Cold War
Campaign Slogan: “Global warming, shmobal shmarming!”
Legacy: And now, announcing his successor...
Kevin Kline (Dave)
Served During: The Gemini Period
Campaign Slogan: “Don't tell anyone, but I'm not actually the president.”
Legacy: Sometimes, you've just got to roll up your sleeves and pass the buck onto Ben Kingsley.
Peter Sellers (Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)
Served During: The Nuclear Apocalypse
Campaign Slogan: “I don't need your votes. I play every other person in this movie. I make up the majority of the population.”
Legacy: He didn't do great...
Martin Sheen (The American President and The West Wing)
Served During: The Sorkin Period
Campaign Slogan: “I won’t let my son anywhere near the White House.”
Legacy: Whole lotta walk-and-talks.
James Rebhorn (Rocky and Bullwinkle)
Served During: Moosifest Destiny
Campaign Slogan: "I’m bound to play the president eventually — I’m in every movie ever made!”
Legacy: The government nearly fell victim to a literal mole in the White House.
Dennis Quaid (American Dreamz)
Served During: The Age of American Idolatry
Campaign Slogan: “Try and guess which president I’m making fun of.”
Legacy: A kid got blown up on live national television. Otherwise, all good.
Bill Pullman (Independence Day)
Served During: The Era of Great Movie Speeches
Campaign Slogan: “We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! … I made that up.”
Legacy: We beat 'em.
[Photo Credit: David Edwards/Daily Celeb]
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