Christopher Nolan Talks Influence Of ‘Close Encounters,’ ‘The Right Stuff,’ ‘2001’ And More On ‘Interstellar’

Christopher Nolan Talks Influence Of 'Close Encounters,' 'The Right Stuff,' '2001' And More On 'Interstellar'
Christopher Nolan Talks Influence Of 'Close Encounters,' 'The Right Stuff,' '2001' And More On 'Interstellar'

As the release date for “Interstellar” draws closer, not only will the buzz get louder and louder, but cinephiles will undoubtedly start talking about the great sci-fi movies of the past, and how Christopher Nolan‘s movie measures up. Well, the director is getting a bit ahead of the curve, talking about the movies that inspired his upcoming epic in the latest issue of Empire

“It’s not straight action and it’s not straight thriller,” Nolan says about the tone of his movie. “I do liken it to the blockbusters I grew up with as a kid. A lot of them by Spielberg. I don’t like talking about Spielberg too much because he was the director on the project before me and I don’t want to keep coming back to that, but the truth is, there’s a great spirit to films like ‘Close Encounters [Of The Third Kind]‘ and ‘Jaws‘ that I really wanted to try and capture, because I haven’t seen it in a very long time.”

“I mean, J.J. [Abrams] paid great homage to it in ‘Super 8,’ but it was a very literal homage. We’re trying to do: ‘What would that kind of film be now? Not in that period, as J.J. did, but now. It’s been a really interesting challenge,” Nolan added. “When you say you’re making a family film, it has all these pejorative connotations that it’ll be somehow soft. But when I was a kid, these were family films in the best sense, and they were as edgy and incisive and challenging as anything else on the blockbuster spectrum. I wanted to bring that back in some way.” 

It’s definitely a big challenge to try and make a “family movie” in an era when that usually means an animated film, or a tentpole tied to a toy or brand. But Nolan also realizes that the conversation around “Interstellar” can’t happen without invoking the name of a certain Stanley Kubrick classic.

“You can’t pretend ‘2001‘ doesn’t exist when you’re making ‘Interstellar,’ ” Nolan admits. “But the other film I’d have to point to is ‘The Right Stuff.’ I screened a print of it for the crew before we started, because that’s a film that not enough people have seen on the big screen. It’s an almost perfectly made film. It’s one of the great American movies and people don’t quite realize how great it is — probably because it’s four hours long!” And Nolan knows something about epic lengths, with “Interstellar,” his longest movie to date, running nearly three hours

So, more to digest as we wait to see the movie ourselves on November 7th. Until then, here’s four new TV spots with bits of fresh footage via SuperHeroHype.

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