The school kids and tourists who settled in to watch “Hubble 3D” at the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum were treated to a dash of unexpected Hollywood ballyhoo Monday morning when the trailer for Christopher Nolan’s upcoming sci-fi adventure “Interstellar” made its world premiere at the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater.
After a brief announcement, the trailer unspooled to show Matthew McConaughey driving his truck through corn fields while a lush orchestral score swelled in the background. Later, the fields had caught fire, an ominous dust cloud could be seen looming over a baseball game, and McConaughey (playing a character named Cooper) was reassuring his daughter that he loved her — right before being shot into space in order to save the world.
The plot of “Interstellar,” written by Nolan and his brother Jonathan from a treatment by theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, has been kept largely under wraps, although the word “wormhole” has been mentioned in early reports, suggesting that the McConaissance is now on the verge of breaking the time-space continuum. As the trailer’s tag line puts it, “Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.”
Nolan, the director of “Inception” and “The Dark Knight” trilogy, has famously stayed loyal to large-format film stock during cinema’s digital revolution. He photographed “Interstellar” on 70 mm and IMAX film; the director’s commitment to film, along with the movie’s space-travel theme, made it a natural fit with the museum –- one of the only theaters in the region that shows IMAX movies on film, rather than digitally. The Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater will be the only theater showing the trailer until it appears with “Godzilla” when it opens in other theaters throughout the country next week. The “Interstellar” trailer will play before all of the museum’s IMAX offerings.
Air & Space Museum theaters director Zarth Bertsch said that the trailer’s exclusive run will continue at least until “Godzilla’s” May 16 opening date, and perhaps longer if it doesn’t interfere with the theater’s regular programming. (There’s even a chance that “Interstellar” will play there during its theatrical run.) “The extra two minutes have made our turnaround time between shows pretty tight,” he said. “But we’d like to play it indefinitely if we can.”
“Interstellar” is scheduled to open November 7.