2008 script

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Original script

First page of the original script

The original script for Interstellar was written by Jonathan Nolan for prospective director Steven Spielberg, written March 12, 2008.

The full script can be viewed on The printed script is 121 pages.

ACT 1 Edit

The script opens up with a sequence featuring a neutron star falling into a black hole sending ripples of gravity waves across the galaxy which opens up a wormhole in Earth's solar system. LIGO physicists at CalTech scramble to find out what some signals from space are, the NSA arrives to assist the physicists in finding out what it means. Ansen and a young John Brand are present when they discover that there's a wormhole somewhere in the solar system.

The script then flashes forward fifty years, where we see an object falling toward the Earth. In Central California, we find Cooper and his children attempting to repair the bus for the New York Yankees prior to attending their baseball game where they see an object falling out of the sky, crash-landing somewhere.

In the morning, Cooper's father-in-law Donald tells him to attend a parent-teacher conference, on the way to school, their truck tire blows and they stop to fix it. When a Chinese drone flies over, they take the truck to capture it and steal its power cells. Afterward, Cooper talks to the school principal and Murph's teacher, there he learns that the world is turning its back on their history. A friend asks Cooper to investigate a crashed black box space probe at a beach near Galveston, Texas, the probe has NASA markings. He returns home, attempts to pull data off it and discovers an image of an Ice Planet. The probe chirps loudly and annoys them into returning it to where it come from. But instead Cooper places it down a well to get some rest.

At the request of Murph, Cooper flies the probe to a special facility built on Santa Cruz Island off the coast of Los Angeles, where he discovers the last remnants of NASA have been feverishly working to complete a rocket to a nuclear-powered spacecraft in orbit. Coop is selected by an aged John Brand to go along with a three scientists: Amelia, Doyle and Roth and two robots (cyborgs): CASE and TARS, to fly through the wormhole to the icy planet. Coop joins the rest of the crew for the launch, after a painful goodbye to his children where he gives one of his sons a watch to keep as promise of Coop's return. They reach the wormhole and see their ship and bodies distorted by a space-time distortion.

ACT 2 Edit

On the other side of the wormhole, they enter a new solar system to find two black holes in orbit of each other, they navigate between the black holes and end up on the Ice Planet. TARS is lost during the transit between the black holes. After passing through, they discover one long garbled message from Earth then nothing.

While on the Ice Planet, they look around for clues and discover a shelter made by the Chinese government. Apparently the Chinese arrived prior to the United States and set up shop. However, all human Chinese personnel have died as evidenced by the presence of nearby graves. They find out why these researchers died, a neutron star orbiting the black holes wasn't detected on their first patrols of the system, the neutron star sends out powerful radiation every 24 hours that deposits on the Ice Planet. The team goes inside for shelter before the star returns, CASE drills a hole in the ice, which opens a hole underneath them taking them deep underground. The team then discover alien life in the walls which absorb and live off the radiation from the neutron star's X-rays when it passes by.

After the neutron star makes its pass, the alien lifeforms are discovered to be small but live as colonies and can take shapes in larger forms. One of the scientists decides to get a sample, disrupting the alien life which causes the alien lifeforms to give chase. Afterward, the team discover a secret Chinese bunker installation, also underground. The team discovers that the installation was supposed to keep all Chinese people there, but no one showed up because all researchers died, only Chinese robots remain. While at the installation, the team discovers a black box which generates gravity. They decide to keep it, but the Chinese robots disagree and chase them. CASE decides to sacrifice himself so the rest can move forward. The team then find out another emergency. Within a decade, a smaller black hole, tiny compared to Pantagruel and Gargantua, will pass by the Ice planet. The planet's orbit will destabilize, and it will fall beneath Pantagruel's Roche limit and horizon.

The team decides to leave the planet immediately. But, get stuck in the orbit of one of the black holes and end up inside the event horizon after leaving the planet. Time slows down for them and decades pass by as minutes. Suddenly, another wormhole opens up for them inside the black hole and transports them to a hyper-dimension where they encounter the bulk beings that transport them to a humongous space station built by the Chinese over the course of 4,000 years where TARS has remained since they lost him.

ACT 3 Edit

While at the Chinese space station, they find technologies very advanced created by the Chinese robots who have been on the station for thousands of years. Amelia decides to take TARS and explore the galaxy through the wormhole network. While Coop and Doyle decide to leave and go back in time using the advanced technologies. Coop makes a promise to Amelia, that he will come back for her. It is discovered that time travel is possible but humans can't go through, Coop tells Doyle that he will be killed if he goes through, but Doyle refuses and locks Coop in a lander and decides to go in by himself. Coop is launched away from the wormhole and Doyle goes through. Doyle is killed and his ship destroyed but the black box survives as well as his spaceship debris like from the beginning of the script.

A sequence is shown that reveals that Coop's youngest son Murphy Cooper returned to the Santa Cruz Island facility years later and discovered the black box. Decades pass, but Murph spends nearly twenty years attempting to solve the gravity box. Later, his daughter Emily ends up actually solving gravity, thus saving the human race.

Unbeknownst to Coop, he returns to Earth 200 years after he had left, the Earth is an icy wasteland. He returns to what used to be his house, releases the alien lifeform on the world, where it thrives. Coop remains to die as he falls unconscious. He reawakens inside the Medical Bay of an immense space station orbiting high above Earth named after Murph, Cooper Station. Coop discovers that he is considered a hero, and gets to meet his great great great grandson Anthony Cooper Welling, who gives him back the watch he gave Murphy centuries ago. An untold amount of time passes and Coop begins to feel alone in this future, he decides one day to take himself and a robot heavily modeled on TARS to steal a spaceship and set out to find Brand like he had promised her.


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