Science fiction cinema generates its own fictions: Ridley Scott, one of the masters of the genre, has recognized that two of his main works originally had a very different ending. In Alien, the eighth passengerLieutenant Ripley’s head was torn off by the creature, which would also have decapitated 20th Century Fox’s expectations of converting Alien in a franchise; in blade runnera box office failure (in Spain it did not gross more than $700,000) recycled into a cult film, Scott fought for a more ambiguous ending, in which Deckard’s identity was not specified.
This conflict between the primary idea and the final result has not remained in the eighties, as Jonathan Nolan, screenwriter and brother of Christopher Nolan, clarified in a colloquium held before physicists shortly after the premiere of Interstellar. We are therefore talking about 2015: yes, eight years may have passed on Earth, but on planet Miller barely an hour has passed.
Dad breaks his promise
Christopher Nolan’s films are not particularly emotional. Neither the English director intends it nor, in the exceptional cases in which he has tried, does he manage to achieve it at all. However, with the outcome of InterstellarNolan showed that he is capable of grabbing the audience’s throats if he sets his mind to it: the reunion between Cooper and his daughterturned into an old woman played by Ellen Burstyn, is a memorable endpoint to the canonical hero’s journey through time and space.
Little Murphy knew that she would see her father again because he “had promised her.” However, McConaughey’s character was unaware that The Nolan brothers had, in principle, other plans: If Cooper manages to save the planet, it is thanks to a black hole that allows him to communicate, ghostly, with his daughter, to whom he gives instructions on how to avoid a planetary catastrophe.
This was the case, at least, in the final draft of Interstellarbut not in the original, in which McConaughey did not survive his journey through the black hole. Jonathan Nolan confessed that they did not develop this alternative further, but that its existence ruled out “the tesseract, temporal manipulation and the return home.” The salvation of the earth became an unknown, although in a rather unlikely one. What there would be no doubt about is that we would never have heard the phrase “because dad promised me.”
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