At a recent talk for scientists, engineers, and students, Jonathan Nolan told the audience that his original plan for how Interstellar would have ended was somewhat different to what we saw on screen and that the changes were down to his brother, director Christopher Nolan.
Many viewers found the ending head-scratchingly convoluted. It involved Matthew McConaughey’s character passing through a black hole (aka an Einstein-Rosen bridge) in a desperate attempt to send the gravitational messages from earlier in the film, ending up in a five-dimensional tesseract constructed by unidentified aliens, before making a miraculous escape home.
Jonathan’s version would have been simpler – and darker. “[The original ending] had the Einstein-Rosen bridge collapse when Cooper tries to send the data back,” he told the crowd. In the simplest terms, the heroic sacrifice would have been just that – a sacrifice, with no happy ending.
Whether part of Christopher Nolan’s plan was to spell out how the gravity messages were sent rather than leave it to the imagination is open to speculation, but it’s certainly true that the film could have avoided the ‘love saves the day’ theme of its final scenes if the original plan had been followed.
Perhaps one day we’ll have a ‘Writer’s Cut’ of the film.
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