With the DVD release on March 31st, ‘Interstellar’ co-writer Jonathan Nolan and consultant/muse/physicist Kip Thorne participated in a Q & A where the two discussed original plot points that didn’t make it to the final film. Notably, Jonathan Nolan discussed the film’s original ending, which sounds much bleaker than what audiences saw.
At the end of the film, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) falls into a black hole where he’s able to communicate with his daughter to save the human race. However, according to Nolan, the original ending “had the Einstein-Rosen bridge [a wormhole] collapse when Cooper tries to send the data back.”
Yikes. That definitely puts a damper on the hope for humanity. It doesn’t mean Cooper wouldn’t have been able to transmit the data to Murph, but it’s a bummer nonetheless.
Thorne added that were was a deleted plot point in the beginning of the film where Coop falls upon NASA’s headquarters. Coop and Murph receive coded gravitational waves, and originally those waves came from the death of a neutron star by a black hole. (A neutron star is the stellar remnant of a supernova.) The Laser Interferometer Gravity-Wave Observatory would’ve picked up on these waves leading NASA to discovering the nearby black hole.
However, all that information was a little too much for the movie. According to Thorne, “That was very near and dear to me, but Chris thought it was too much science for the public to digest.”
Well, besides understanding how astrophysics fits into the general theory of relativity, it looks like Thorne also learned the old writer’s adage, “You must kill your darlings.”