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Christopher Nolan chats 3-D, 'Interstellar,' and his newfound love for Matthew McConaughey at CinemaCon

Christopher Nolan has never been one to reveal much in interviews, especially ones conducted while he’s in the middle of post-production on a film. So it’s lucky Hollywood Reporter film critic Todd McCarthy got as much out of the secretive director, who is currently finishing up his first cut of his new film Interstellar, as he did during the CinemaCon lunch Wednesday.

What we did learn: Nolan is holding steadfast in his commitment to shooting on film, despite the industry’s overwhelming conversion to digital projection. (In fact, Paramount Pictures — the distributor of Nolan’s film — is making an exception by releasing the movie in film and digital. Most of its other releases will debut only in the high-tech format.)

Also, Nolan is not yet convinced of 3-D movies, primarily because he believes it limits “the shared audience experience.” However, the director was particularly impressed by Baz Luhrmann’s use of the extra dimension in The Great Gatsby. “I thought the 3-D was an absolutely extraordinary thing to see,” he said during the lunch, attended primarily by theater owners and technology companies. “My resistance to 3-D is what I think is right for the things I want to make.”

Nolan — who has cast Matthew McConaughey in his upcoming space story, due Nov. 7 — says he was convinced of the recent Academy Award winner’s range after seeing an early cut of his work in Jeff Nichols’ 2012 film Mud. “I admired him as a movie star and I knew he was a good actor, but I didn’t know how much potential he had until I saw that early cut. It was a transformative performance,” he says.

While Nolan wouldn’t reveal much about what McConaughey’s character does in his upcoming movie, he did say he “plays an everyman, someone who is relatable, someone the audience could experience the extraordinary events of the film with.”

And hiring McConaughey made this year’s Oscar season a bit more conflicted for the director, who reminded the audience that he had worked with three of the five Best Actor nominees in his past movies: McConaughey, Christian Bale (The Dark Knight), and Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception). “I didn’t know who to root for,” he said with a laugh.

While spare with the details, Nolan’s new film seems to be bringing out the nostalgia in the 43-year-old director. Raised in both the U.S. and London, he remembers seeing Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey when he was 7 years old and it being an indelible experience. “I remember the feeling of magnitude and otherworldly experience. I remember the feeling of how big the screen was,” he says. “I had no idea what the film meant, but I had this extraordinary time being taken away to another world.”

That experience clearly stayed with the director, who said he wanted to re-create the tone of “the golden age of blockbusters” that he experienced when he was a child.

“Family film [back then] could be very broad-based and universal in its appeal. It’s something I want to see again, in terms of the tone of the film. It’s not just a film that someone watches, but has an experience. It harkens back to films I grew up with — films that took me to the place I had never imagined.”

Casting Net: Matt Damon teams up with Christopher Nolan; Plus, Jessica Alba, more

• Matt Damon may have laughed off speculation that he’d play Robin to Ben Affleck’s Batman, but he will be teaming up with The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan for Interstellar. He’ll join the Iceland-based production of the secretive time travel epic starring Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Matthew McConaughey for two weeks out of the four month shoot. Damon’s “small role” is, naturally, being kept under wraps. The large ensemble cast also boasts Casey Affleck, David Oyelowo, Topher Grace, Michael Caine, John Lithgow, and Ellen Burstyn. This marks Damon’s first time working with Nolan. [IndieWire]

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Casting Net: Vanessa Hudgens teaming up with vampires? Plus, Matt Walsh, more

• Vanessa Hudgens is on a roll. After scrapping her Disney image this year for Haromy Korine, the Spring Breakers star is reportedly in talks to join the cast of The Kitchen Sink, a blacklist script about an alien invasion, and the small-town teenagers who have to join forces with vampires and zombies to defeat the unwelcome visitors. Rescue Me star Denis Leary recently joined the cast as well, which currently includes Mackenzie Davis (Smashed) and Nicholas Braun (The Perks of Being a Wallflower). Robbie Pickering, who wrote and directed the SXSW indie Natural Selection, is set to direct the project. [The Wrap]

• David Oyelowo, who recently starred in Middle of Nowhere and will appear in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and David Gaysi (Cloud Atlas) have joined the very, very large ensemble cast of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. [The Wrap]

• In a brilliant mash-up of television comedians, Matt Walsh (Veep), Retta (Parks and Recreation), and Lamorne Morris (New Girl) have joined the cast of Sex Ed, a Haley Joel Osment indie about a middle school sex ed teacher who lacks his own experiences. Isaac Feder is making his feature debut directing the project. [Variety]

Casting Net: Melissa McCarthy in talks for a James Bond inspired role; Plus James McAvoy as Dr. Frankenstein, more

• Melissa McCarthy can basically do whatever she wants these days, especially alongside her Bridesmaids and The Heat director Paul Feig. Her latest awesome endeavor? Potentially starring in Susan Cooper, a spy comedy about a James Bond-esque character. McCarthy, of course, would play the female Bond spinoff. According to the report, the project is being developed as a potential franchise and Feig would direct. Scheduling could be an issue, though. McCarthy has multiple projects with her production company On the Day as well as her Mike & Molly commitments. Still, McCarthy as a James Bond-type sounds delightfully promising. [The Wrap]

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Casting Net: Topher Grace in talks to take on time travel in 'Interstellar'; Plus, Danny McBride joins Cameron Crowe pic, more

• Topher Grace (Spider-Man 3) is in talks to join Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar in a supporting capacity. Naturally, no details were given about the nature of the role, but we’re hoping this could be the beginning of a Topher Grace career reboot. He has a number of projects in the works including The Invitation with Zachary Quinto, The Calling with Susan Sarandon, and A Many Splintered Thing with Aubrey Plaza and Chris Evans, a.k.a. April and not Andy.  [Deadline]

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Hans Zimmer will score Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar'

Epic music maestro Hans Zimmer is teaming up with Christopher Nolan yet again. The composer will write the score for Nolan’s  Interstellar. Collider first reported the news.

Zimmer told Collider that he has actually already started doing some writing for the music of Interstellar, which doesn’t hit theaters until Nov. 7, 2014. Described as a “heroic interstellar voyage to the furthest reaches of our scientific understanding,” Interstellar is a time travel epic based on scientific theories developed by American physicist Kip Thorne, who will executive produce. Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, and Michael Caine (of course) have been attached to star.
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Casting Net: De Niro to play a cop in 'Candy Store'; Plus, Benjamin Bratt replaces Pacino, more

• Since his Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for Silver Linings Playbook, Robert De Niro has been on a bit of a career upswing. He’s set to star in Syriana-director Stephen Gaghan’s Candy Store about an undercover agent-turned-Brooklyn cop and the seedy underworld that he and his partners uncover. Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) and Omar Sy (The Intouchables) also star. De Niro is currently filming David O. Russell’s American Hustle. [Variety]

• Benjamin Bratt (Law & Order) will jump in to voice the villain in Despicable Me 2. Al Pacino had been cast in the role and had already voiced a number of scenes, but dropped out very recently due to creative differences. Bratt is no stranger to animated work and can be heard in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 as well. Despicable Me 2 is scheduled for a July 3 release, and features the voice talents of Kristen Wiig, Steve Carell, Russell Brand, and Steve Coogan. [Deadline]

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Casting Net: Jessica Chastain in talks to join Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar', more

Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) is reportedly in talks to join Christopher Nolan’s (The Dark Knight Rises) time-travel epic, Interstellar. She’d be joining a cast that currently includes Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey. Since she’s started getting more significant roles, Chastain has never really ventured into pure science fiction territory (we’re not counting Take Shelter). She famously dropped out of Oblivion when offered the Zero Dark Thirty role, so we’re excited for her to take on a new kind of film. The two-time Oscar nominee (The Help, Zero Dark Thirty) is currently filming Liv Ullmann’s adaptation of Miss Julie and will soon start work on Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak [Deadline]

• Ethan Hawke (Before Sunset) has signed on to join Neil LaBute’s (Possession) thriller The Geography of Hope. The film will tell the story of two crooks (Hawke and Ed Harris) in the 1970s who are hiding out in Baja after messing up a job. They find two women to keep them interested while they’re in hiding, but eventually things get complicated. Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel) and Emmanuelle Devos (Coco Before Chanel) star as the women. [Screen Daily]

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Casting Net: Anne Hathaway may re-team with Christopher Nolan; Plus, Jim Carrey, 'Kung Fu Panda 3,' more

• Anne Hathaway has her Academy Award. The Hathahaters have moved on. She’s already lined up a Lynn Shelton indie. What’s her next move? A Christopher Nolan blockbuster “interstellar voyage to the furthest reaches of our scientific understanding” of course! The Les Miserables actress is in final talks to reunite with her Dark Knight Rises director for his highly anticipated and annoyingly secretive film Interstellar, based on the theories of theoretical physicist (and time travel enthusiast) Kip Thorne. Matthew McConaughey has signed on to play the male lead in the film, which has already set a November 7, 2014 release date. Despite Hathaway’s diverse resume of musicals, rom-coms, rom-drams, teen flicks, and comics, she hasn’t tackled the sci-fi world yet, making the possibility even more exciting. [Deadline]

Jim Carrey has decided to join the comedy Ricky Stanicky, after a reported year of negotiations. The title refers to the name of an invented scapegoat for a group of troublemaking friends. What started out as a teenage joke continues into adulthood, though, until their significant others insist on meeting him. Instead of coming clean, they hire someone to be Stanicky. Carrey’s Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls director Steve Oedekerk will helm the Summit Entertainment feature. According to the report, James Franco was originally attached to star, and Joaquin Phoenix was in consideration as well. [THR]

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Casting Net: Matthew McConaughey rumored for next Nolan project; Plus, a 'Vacation' reunion, B.J. Novak in 'Spider-Man 2', more

• Matthew McConaughey may have been offered the lead in Christopher Nolan’s next film, Interstellar. As with any Nolan project, details are being kept tightly under wraps, but this project has been floating around for years. The story is based on the works of theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, who posited, among other things, that wormholes can be used for time travel. Nolan’s brother Jonathan (The Dark Knight, The Prestige) wrote the script, and they’ve already set a release date for November 7, 2014. As for McConaughey, if the reports are accurate, it seems like it would be a no-brainer. [Deadline]

• Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo are in early talks to play the Griswolds once more in an upcoming Vacation reboot. In the film, Ed Helms would play Rusty, who is attempting to take his own family on a road trip. John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein — the team who wrote Horrible Bosses — penned the script and also plan to direct the project, which also stars Christina Applegate. Chase and D’Angelo’s roles are reportedly small. [Variety]

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