In 2014, Christopher Nolan directed the epic science fiction film Interstellar, which has since become a cult classic. While the film is known for its mind-bending plot, stunning visuals, and outstanding performances, few people know that it was inspired by a small aspect of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Nolan revealed that the idea for the film’s cornfield scenes came from Snyder’s film.
“That all-American iconography has always been so potent in the Superman myth,” Nolan said. “It was in this script before I came to the project — he was developing the script for Steven Spielberg to direct, originally — and I think the Americana had worked its way in there. I certainly found it very helpful when I realized we were going to have to grow our own corn.”
Nolan’s reference to “Americana” is telling. In both Man of Steel and Interstellar, there is a strong emphasis on the values that are traditionally associated with America, such as hard work, self-reliance, and a strong connection to the land. These values are reflected in the films’ settings, which are rural and often depict people working on farms.
However, it was not just the idea of a cornfield that inspired Nolan. He was also interested in the practicalities of how to create such a scene. As he explains, he reached out to Snyder to find out how much it had cost to grow the cornfield in Man of Steel.
“I phoned Zack [Snyder] and said, ‘Well how much did you grow?’ and he told me they grew 300 acres and that it cost X amount, so we grew about 500 acres of corn and actually sold it and ended up making a profit off it.”
Nolan’s commitment to realism and authenticity is evident in this anecdote. He could have easily used CGI to create the cornfield scenes, but instead chose to grow his own corn to achieve a greater level of authenticity. This commitment to realism is one of the reasons why Interstellar is such a compelling film. Despite its futuristic setting, it feels grounded in reality.
Nolan’s Interstellar is a masterpiece of science fiction cinema, and its roots can be traced back to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. While the films share many thematic elements, it was the practical details of growing a cornfield that inspired Nolan to create one of the film’s most iconic scenes. By growing his own corn and selling it for a profit, Nolan demonstrated his commitment to authenticity and his belief that sometimes the smallest details can have the biggest impact.
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