Mike Fleming

Matthew McConaugheyEXCLUSIVE: Here’s an intriguing casting possibility to chew on going into the holiday weekend. I’m told Christopher Nolan has offered the male lead of his next film, Interstellar, to Matthew McConaughey. The character’s name is Cooper and while there is no deal yet, who says no to Nolan? The project is a co-production between Paramount and Warner Bros. Interstellar was originally set up in 2006 by Steven Spielberg, when Paramount owned DreamWorks, and after Spielberg became intrigued by Caltech physicist and relativity expert Kip S. Thorne and his scientific theory that wormholes exist and can be used for time travel. It was Spielberg who set Jonah Nolan to write the script, which made it easy for Christopher Nolan to come aboard after Spielberg left the project. After all, the Nolan siblings have a collaborative track record, with Jonah hatching the short story that became Christopher’s first hit Memento, and following that with two Batfilms and The Prestige. Christopher Nolan signed on in January to write a script that merged an original idea of his with the script that Jonah wrote. The ambition is a film that will depict a heroic interstellar voyage to the farthest borders of our scientific understanding. Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas are producing with Lynda Obst. Jordan Goldberg is joining as exec producer alongside Thorne, who’ll remain on as technical consultant.

Getting details on a Nolan project is more difficult than getting the line on the Pope selection process, so there’s no comment here. If McConaughey indeed signs on, what an intriguing turn for his career. After starting off in Dazed And Confused and A Time To Kill, this good old boy wanted to do dramas and action but seemed mainly to be successful as half of a love pairing in a romantic comedy. Much has changed with recent diverse films like Lincoln Lawyer, Bernie, Killer Joe and especially Magic Mike, the latter of which won him an Independent Spirit Award and has Hollywood seeing him in a different light. He has followed with The Wolf Of Wall Street and Dallas Buyer’s Club, but starring in Nolan’s big sci-fi film would be seismic. I just hope that it makes it possible for McConaughey to finally make The Grackle, one of the funnier scripts I’ve read. McConaughey is repped by CAA.