Jonathan Nolan reveals original, dark ending to 'Interstellar'

The ending of Christopher Nolan's Interstellar was pretty mind-bending, but according to screenwriter Jonathan Nolan, the story originally ended in a much more simple, dark fashion.

In the original film *SPOILERS*, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) travels inside the singularity of a black hole, ending up inside a fifth dimension. Here, he travels through time, with time represented as a physical space he can move through, and is able to relay some vital information to his daughter, Murph.

However, according to Nerdist, at a Q&A to celebrate the release of the film on blu-ray, screenwriter Jonathan Nolan said the original ending to the movie was simpler and not nearly as hopeful.

Apparently in the original ending, the wormhole collapses when Cooper tries to send his data back. So there would be no fifth dimension or traveling in time sequence, and the implication then is that Cooper does not make it home and probably dies floating alone in space.

Nolan didn't specify whether Cooper's data is successfully sent back to Earth, but we have to imagine it would be. Then the ending would be presented as more of a sacrifice, where Cooper gives his life in order to save humanity and get the necessary data back to Earth. If the data doesn't actually make it back in this version, how dark and horrible of an ending would that be? That would mean that Cooper dies for no reason and all of humanity dies on Earth. Presumably Brand is still able to make it to her planet to attempt to cultivate a new civilization, but still, that is one bleak ending. And even if the data does make it back, Cooper would die not knowing whether he succeeded or if all of humanity will die because he failed his mission.

So is this ending better or worse? The original Interstellar ending is definitely more hopeful and arguably more emotionally satisfying, with Cooper reuniting with Murph as an old woman and heading out to find Brand. In this new version, Cooper would die a hero but would never reunite with Murph, after so much of the movie is dedicated to them hoping to find each other again.

And the fifth dimension sequence, while maybe being a lot to buy for some people, is a pretty stunning and unique sequence, unlike anything we've ever seen in a movie before. We've seen the main character sacrificing his life to save everyone else in movies a lot of times before though, and Cooper simply falling into a black hole and sending data back to Earth probably would not be quite as stunning.

Evidently the new ending and the tesseract were Christopher Nolan's ideas, speaking to the director's love for the fantastical and emotional. Some audiences criticized the potential unrealistic nature of Interstellar's ending, but it definitely makes for a satisfying climax, and this is science fiction, after all.

Interstellar opened in theaters in November and was a pretty big success for an original, three hour science fiction film. The film grossed $672 million at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo, much of that consisting of IMAX sales.

Interstellar will be released on blu-ray and video on demand on March 31.

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