Nolan offers first hints about Interstellar's epic voyage

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Mar 27, 2014, 12:50 PM EDT (Updated)

Director Christopher Nolan has spoken publicly for the first time about his upcoming science fiction epic, Interstellar

According to The Wrap, the famously secretive filmmaker behind Inception and the Dark Knight trilogy was interviewed onstage at the CinemaCon trade show in Las Vegas earlier today, and he dropped a few clues about what to expect from the highly anticipated film.

As we already know, the movie deals with wormhole travel, but Nolan dismissed speculation that time travel was also part of the story. He said that the film is about "using celestial shortcuts to reach parts of space that might otherwise be inaccessible." To that end, the director recruited theoretical physicist Kip Thorne as a producer and scientific consultant.

Nolan also said that the film is "something that really looks at who we are as people,” adding, "I grew up in an era that was a golden age of the blockbuster when something we might call a family film could have universal appeal. That’s something I want to see again."

Nolan has shot Interstellar mostly in IMAX and on actual film -- he's one of the last directors to use film and is almost singlehandedly keeping the format alive -- and if you think that he went for more CG and fewer practical effects this time around, think again.

Always keen on keeping things in camera as much as possible, he revealed that he had his production team build full spaceship sets, saying, "We shot it like a documentary."

Finally, Nolan commented on the performance of his leading man, Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, saying, "I needed somebody who was very much an everyman, someone the audience could experience the story with. He’s just a phenomenal, charismatic presence in the movie. His performance is shaping up to be extraordinary."

The cast also includes Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Casey Affleck, Wes Bentley, John Lithgow, Ellen Burstyn, Michael Caine and Matt Damon. Interstellar opens on Nov. 7.

Nolan's comments about the kind of movie he's made are interesting. It seems that he's going more for an adventure with a true sense of wonder and less a primarily cerebral exercise like 2001: A Space Odyssey. I don't know about you, but Interstellar is still sitting right at the top of my 2014 must-see list. What about you?