While it doesn’t quite have the spinning top finale of “Inception,” Christopher Nolan‘s “Interstellar” has been the center of just as much discussion. And one of the big topics that has emerged in various corners of the internet has been about the film’s supposed plot holes and/or bad science. Well, Nolan is aware of the criticisms and doesn’t seem too concerned.
“To be honest, I haven’t read whatever holes people are trying to poke, so I can speak to the validity of it. My films are always held to a weirdly high standard for those issues that isn’t applied to everybody else’s films —which I’m fine with,” Nolan told The Daily Beast. “People are always accusing my films of having plot holes, and I’m very aware of the plot holes in my films and very aware of when people spot them, but they generally don’t. But what were some science issues people had with the film? That was Kip [Thorne]’s domain.”
When a particular criticism about “time dilation” and riding the surface of a black hole is brought up, Nolan has a ready answer. “Like ‘a basketball on the rim,’ which is a phrase we use! That’s completely accurate, so there’s no hole there at all,” the director counters. “Those issues are all buttoned-up, and Kip has a book on the science of the film about what’s real and what’s speculation —because much of it is, of course, speculation. There have been a bunch of knee-jerk tweets by people who’ve only seen the film once, but to really take on the science of the film, you’re going to need to sit down with the film for a bit and probably also read Kip’s book. I know where we cheated in the way you have to cheat in movies, and I’ve made Kip aware of those things.”
But what does Famous Scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson think? Well, anytime there is a Science Movie, he’s got something to say about it, and he went to Twitter recently to share his thoughts, and basically, he gives it a thumbs up (though he does caution “never look to me for opinions on new films. All I do is highlight the science one might or might not find in them”). Here are his collected thoughts via Slashfilm:
-Experience Einstein’s Relativity of Time as no other feature film has shown.
-Experience Einstein’s Curvature of Space as no other feature film has shown.
-Relativity. Gravity. Quantum. Electrodynamics. Evolution. Each of these theories is true, whether or not you believe in them.
-And in the real universe, strong gravitational fields measurably slow passage of time relative to others. GPS satellites, located farther from Earth’s center than we are, keep faster time than do our clocks on Earth’s surface. GPS Satellites are pre-corrected for General Relativity, allowing them to beam us the accurate time for Earth’s surface.
-You enter a 3-Dimensional portal in space. Yes, you can fall in from any direction. Yes, it’s a Worm Hole.
-The producers knew exactly how, why, & when you’d achieve zero-G in space.
-You observe great Tidal Waves from great Tidal Forces, of magnitude that orbiting a Black Hole might create
-All leading characters, including McConaughey, Hathaway, Chastain, & Caine play a scientist or engineer. Of the leading characters (all of whom are scientists or engineers) half are women. Just an FYI.
-They reprise the matched-rotation docking maneuver from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” but they spin 100x faster.
-On another planet, around another star, in another part of the galaxy, two guys get into a fist fight.
-There’s a robot named KIPP. One of the Executive Producers, a physicist, is named Kip. I’m just saying.
-If you didn’t understand the physics, try Kip Thorne’s highly readable book “The Science of Interstellar”. If you didn’t understand the plot, there is no published book to help you.
-They explore a planet near a Black Hole. Personally, I’d stay as far the hell away from BlackHoles as I can.
But Nolan isn’t just concerned about making a scientifically sound movie (though the marketing team thinks “Interstellar” is ripe for classrooms). In the red carpet interview below, he cites “Star Wars” as the reason he got into making films and adds he wants people to enjoy “Interstellar” as it is without getting particular about science. And moreover, he applauds J.J. Abrams for continuing what George Lucas started.
“I’m pretty excited to see what J.J. is going to do with that,” Nolan said about ‘The Force Awakens.’ “I’m excited to see that he’s shooting on film and [has] actually built the Millennium Falcon. As far as whether or not I would have ever done it, the truth is I think I’d be afraid to touch it! He’s boldly going where he went before in ‘Star Trek,’ and it takes colossal balls. I’m a lot more comfortable trying to do my own thing than carrying the weight and expectation of the entire world —particularly 40-somethings like me who live and die with each new bit of information about ‘Star Wars.’ But I’m very excited to see what he does.”
So what’s next for Nolan? Maybe that Howard Hughes script, which he doesn’t entirely rule out, but there is one genre he likely will never do. “I would try anything I think except comedy or romantic comedy,” he told USA Today. “Those are very tough genres to work in. They rely on an unanimity of audience response. You screen a comedy for people, and if they don’t laugh, you’ve got to figure out a way to make them laugh. There’s no hiding behind the art of the film. There’s ‘Oh, you don’t get it.’“
“To actually go out there like Todd Phillips or somebody does and make something that an audience has to laugh at it is incredibly underrated as a skill and a really (expletive) difficult thing to pull off,” Nolan added. “I’d be terrified about doing that.”
But he’s less concerned about returning to the world of Batman….even as an executive producer. He brings that title to the forthcoming “Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice,” and he’s got nothing but good things to say about Ben Affleck putting on the cowl. “I’m only involved in that project in an advisory capacity as an executive producer, so I’m not involved in the day-to-day,” Nolan clarified with The Daily Beast. “When they told me that Ben was interested in doing it, I thought, ‘How thrilling!’ This is the guy who just won Best Picture as a director and as an actor, and I thought it would be a great thing that he’d be willing to do this. I think the guy is incredibly talented and I’m very excited to see what Zack [Snyder] and Ben do together.”
Thoughts? Leave ’em below, and check out even more new images from the film, along with more from Tyson about “Interstellar” on CBS News.