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Since its release in 2014, fans have hoped and pleaded for a sequel to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, and some today are still wondering whether it could someday be released.
As of writing, there has not been an official announcement or confirmation from Nolan or Warner Bros. about Interstellar 2 despite the obvious demand for it.
Although fans will likely never see a sequel if it were to be announced for some reason, Nolan and Warner Bros. (WB) would have to come to an agreement and work together once again, which is something else that may never happen.
After working together for nearly 20 years, Nolan and WB began to turn on one another when the latter decided to move its entire 2021 film slate over to HBO Max (now Max) in a day-and-date format, meaning that movies would premiere in theaters and on the streaming service at no additional charge on the same day.
Nolan expressed his frustrations with this move to The Hollywood Reporter in December 2020 when WB first announced the news, noting how it would impact “some of [the] industry’s biggest filmmakers:”
“Some of our industry’s biggest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before thinking they were working for the greatest movie studio and woke up to find out they were working for the worst streaming service.”
The director also added in the same statement that WB’s “decision [made] no economical sense:”
“Warner Bros. had an incredible machine for getting a filmmaker’s work out everywhere, both in theaters and in the home, and they are dismantling it as we speak. They don’t even understand what they’re losing. Their decision makes no economic sense, and even the most casual Wall Street investor can see the difference between disruption and dysfunction.”
Following that statement, Nolan teamed up with Universal to create Oppenheimer, his R-rated biopic that shocked the world by grossing over $950 million.
However, it seems as though Nolan and WB are now on better terms, even if they are not currently working on a project together.
On June 14, 2023, co-chairperson and CEO of Warner Bros. Michael De Luca expressed interest in working with Nolan again to Variety:
“We’re hoping to get Nolan back. I think there’s a world.”
While not as keen to dive back into the studio with WB, Nolan did, however, tell Variety in a separate interview that the disagreement between the two sides is now “water under the bridge,” meaning that the two could reunite under the right circumstances and for the right film.
As previously mentioned, for Interstellar 2 to happen, Nolan and WB would have to work together again. And while that is not impossible, it is not the only roadblock to preventing the sequel from being made.
It is also important to note that, outside of The Dark Knight trilogy, Nolan has never made a sequel to any of his films. Certain titles such as Memento, The Prestige, and Dunkirk would have no logical reasons to receive sequels, but Interstellar is one that many fans see potential in.
In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Nolan talked about the nature of sequels and explained from the business perspective why they are important:
“There is always a balance in Hollywood between established titles that can ensure a return and give people more of what they want. That’s always been a big part of the economics of Hollywood. “And [that model] pays for a lot of other types of films to be made and distributed.”
The filmmaker then talked about the moviegoing experience and watching “something fresh,” which is what he seems to try to give to the audience through his films:
“There always has to be a respect for the audience’s desire for something new. That’s one of the big thrills of going to the movies, frankly; seeing a trailer for a movie you’ve never heard of or a type of movie you haven’t seen or haven’t seen in a long time. Something new. Something fresh. So a healthy ecosystem in Hollywood is about a balance between the two things, and always has been.”
Based on his comments, Nolan understands the nature of sequels and how they help the film industry, but he wants to give fans the best experience that he can possibly give them, which is why he elects not to make sequels.
However, many fans would love to see Interstellar 2 because of how the original film ended and left a question mark for the audience in certain senses.
The main conflict of Interstellar was between Matthew McConaughey’s Cooper and the concept of time, specifically how quickly it passed by due to the rules of physics and the universe.
While fans did get to see Cooper and his daughter, Murph, together again at the end of the movie in a tear-jerking sequence, it also teased that Cooper was about to embark on yet another dangerous mission to go and find Brand on Edmunds’ planet (who the audience sees at the end).
It may not sound too exciting to watch a character traverse through space until they come upon a planet that they have been searching for, but if Interstellar proved anything, it is that absolutely anything can be dramatic.
For example, in Interstellar, Nolan made the audience move to the edge of their seat for an extended period of time without anything but waves to create tension, and he did the same later on in the movie when all the protagonists had to do was dock a ship.
Therefore, plenty of conflicts, surprises, and mysteries of time could present themselves in Interstellar 2 if Nolan were to get the itch to jump into that world again.
However, the original film accomplished so much in its runtime, had high stakes, and left the audience with a sense of victory that would be hard to replicate.
Interstellar is streaming now on Paramount+ and Amazon Prime Video.