• Sara D'Amico

Interstellar, Reimagined


Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


For the record, I like Interstellar. A lot. It’s pretty much everything I want from a quest through the unknown to save humanity. But if you think about the plot too carefully, it leaves some questions to be answered. So I thought I'd take a shot at writing a different ending. One in which Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) doesn't get pulled into a tesseract, or have a heartfelt reunion with Murph (Mackenzie Foy/Jessica Chastain/Ellen Burstyn) only to have her basically tell him to bug off.


The new ending picks up at a critical juncture in the film, where Cooper is about to sacrifice himself (and Ranger 2) so that Brand (Anne Hathaway) has enough fuel and supplies to make it to Edmund’s planet and set up a colony. Some of the dialogue or action descriptions that repeat from earlier parts of the film (you’ll see what I mean) are taken from the Nolans’ script. Not trying to plagiarize here. The rest is original content.


Without further ado, I give you: Interstellar, Reimagined.

We’ll start off with the Nolans’ script, to get us situated:


EXT. ENDURANCE - DAY


As Lander 1 FALLS back towards Gargantua, Ranger 2’s engines DIE OUT . . .


INT. RING MODULE, ENDURANCE - CONTINUOUS


Case registers the burnout.


CASE

Ranger 2, prepare to detach -


Brand looks up, SHOCKED -


BRAND

NO!


She UNBUCKLES -


CASE

On my mark -


FLIES to the window looking onto Cooper -


BRAND

What are you doing!


CASE

Three . . .


INT. COCKPIT, RANGER 2 - CONTINUOUS


Cooper looks across at Brand.


COOPER

Newton’s third law - you have

to leave something behind.


CASE

(over radio)

Two . . .


INT. RING MODULE, ENDURANCE - CONTINUOUS


Brand pushes her helmet up against the window.


BRAND

You told me we had enough power -


CASE

One . . .


INT. COCKPIT, RANGER 2 - CONTINUOUS


Cooper looks at her, fondly -


COOPER

Hey, we agreed - ninety percent.


CASE

(over radio)

Mark . . .


Cooper reaches for the button. Takes one last look at Brand - inside her helmet, Brand is crying, zero-G tears catching in her eyelashes like melted snowflakes.


Cooper hits the button. But the word catches in his throat -.


COOPER

Detach -


EXT. ENDURANCE - CONTINUOUS


Ranger 2 DROPS AWAY from the Endurance . . .

EXT. GARGANTUA - CONTINUOUS


Ranger 2 speeds towards the looming black hole. Sparks bounce off the hull. It seems to be getting longer and flatter; it’s SPAGHETTIFYING.


INT. COCKPIT, ENDURANCE - CONTINUOUS


Brand shakes her head to clear the tears blurring the plastic bubble of her helmet, CHOKING on a sob. A CRACKLE comes through the radio, and Cooper’s voice cuts through the silence.


COOPER

Tell Murph . . .


He can’t finish.


BRAND

I’ll tell her you were

ninety percent a hero.


Cooper’s CHUCKLE is transmitted in chunks. The radio cuts out.


INT. COCKPIT, RANGER 2 - CONTINUOUS


COOPER

Stage three . . . SEPARATION.


INT. COCKPIT, ENDURANCE - CONTINUOUS


Brand salutes into the void. Outside the cockpit window, Ranger 2 stretches. Flames lick the sides of the craft. Brand CRIES OUT as she sees Ranger 2 explode into fragments.


INT. RANGER 2 - CONTINUOUS


Cooper grips his seat. Watches a curvature of darkness creep up the cockpit window, SQUEEZING the visible universe into curved lines, like dust settled into the grooves of an old record.


Stars SPIN rapidly to the sides of the window, creating a tunnel of time and space. The star-tunnel grows smaller and smaller. Then -- nothing.


INT. RANGER 2 - DARK


COOPER

Tars. Do you copy?


TARS

Indeed.


COOPER

What’s going on out there?


TARS

Not a ‘hole’ lot. Things are

looking pretty black.


Tars CHUCKLES. Cooper checks the control panel.


COOPER

Seems like all systems are operational

except for your humor setting.

(beat)

How long do we have?


TARS

Unclear. Gargantua is big enough that

the forces of gravity that might otherwise

pull you in different directions are fairly

weak. We're free-falling.


COOPER

We’ll just keep falling until we die

of old age or we reach the singularity?


TARS

Most likely.


COOPER

Any chance we can transmit the data

back to Brand on the way down?


TARS

I will try sending a transmission from

all wavelengths. But the odds of the

data escaping Gargantua's grasp

are virtually zero.


COOPER

This mission was a waste. We should’ve

stayed back on Earth, gotten people

out while we had time. Figured it out

from there.


TARS

No use fretting about that now.


Cooper punches some buttons on the control panel.


COOPER

Are you seeing this data? Gargantua

is shedding a massive amount of

radiation.


TARS

I am the one collecting the data, you

know. If my calculations are correct,

the space-time that the black hole has

sucked in has almost outgrown the

singularity.


Cooper rubs the sides of his face. Thinks for a second.


COOPER

So the singularity could explode?

Then what?


TARS

We’d be in a white hole.


COOPER

You heard Brand. White holes are

impossible, because time can’t

run backwards.


TARS

Counterpoint. A white hole is

inconsistent with the current theory

of our universe. But that theory doesn’t

even explain all of the phenomena

humans can observe.


Cooper nods, realization dawning.


COOPER

Dark energy. And dark matter.


TARS

Exactly. The operative model explains

five percent of the mass of the

universe. Plenty of room for error.


Cooper unbuckles from his seat and stumbles to the control panel. He flips switches and Ranger 2 goes dark.


COOPER

No sense in staying awake to find

out whether you’re right. Unlock the

cryo-bed if something happens, will you?


TARS

No guarantees. I’m a direct descendant

of HAL 9000.


COOPER

The least you could do is sing me

a song, then.


TARS

(singing)

Daisy, Daisy, give me your

answer do . . .


INT. MURPH’S BEDROOM - NIGHT


Murph (forty) stands in front of the bookshelves, eyes SEARCHING for an answer.


MURPH

(mumbling)

Please. Give me something.


INT. RANGER 2 - DARK


The cryo-bed lifts from the floor and opens. It forces Cooper into a sitting position. He GASPS, struggling to breathe.


TARS

Rise and shine.


COOPER

Am I dead?


TARS

Not yet. But the data from the

singularity is getting . . . stranger.


COOPER

How so?


TARS

It’s mathematically impossible. I’m

transmitting a copy to the data chip

in your helmet. Better suit up.


COOPER

Hard to tell who’s the captain around here these days.


Cooper takes the data chip from the back of his helmet. It's branded with his initials -- J.C. He pulls his watch from his pocket, slips off the back, and slides the data chip inside.


The Ranger is bathed in a dazzling white light. It REVERSES direction on a dime, sending Cooper flying into the control panel. He struggles against the gravitational force.


COOPER

Tars!! Tars, do you copy!


Nothing.


Cooper turns on Ranger 2 and crawls to the pilot seat. With effort, he SPINS the ship.


EXT. RANGER 2 - CONTINUOUS


The white light expels everything it touches. Then it fades, and stars reappear. The Ranger speeds ahead.


Suddenly the Endurance MATERIALIZES out of nowhere.


INT. RANGER 2 - CONTINUOUS


COOPER

(quickly)

No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Why hasn’t she moved?


Cooper FLIPS a switch.


COOPER

Brand. Can you hear me, Brand?

Brand, do you copy?


Nothing. Cooper POUNDS on the seat, frustrated.


EXT. RANGER 2 - CONTINUOUS