Not everyone who knows that initially Steven Spielberg he should have directed Interstellar before the project ended up on Christopher Nolan, who would have made the film that everyone knows today. But what would Spielberg’s original version have been like?
Needless to say, extremely different: the author of Indiana Jones and Close Encounters of the Third Kind Spielberg began to develop Interstellar in 2006 and it was he who hired Chris Nolan’s brother, Jonathan, to write a first script in 2007, but after his company DreamWorks moved from Paramount to Disney Spielberg slowly drifted away from the project (which, in the meantime, through Jonathan came to Chris).
Today, however, several details of Spielberg’s original treatment are known, which has several differences compared to the film that arrived in theaters: for example in the film the director of The Jaws China would play a pivotal role in the space race: the drone that Cooper and his sons find at the beginning of the film was supposed to be Chinese (in Nolan’s film he is Indian) and when Cooper and Brand arrive on the frozen planet they would discover that Chinese astronauts had arrived there 30 years earlier , but they were all dead. The protagonists would also find an underground bunker built to house the settlers, and in an attempt to leave the facility they would be sucked into a black hole that would send them into a hyper-dimension where the Chinese had built a gigantic space station for over 4000. years.
Indeed the first version of Interstellar expected Cooper and Brand to visit only one planet: the frozen planet in Spielberg’s version orbited around many small black holes, and one of these would have sucked in the protagonists (who, unlike Nolan’s film, would have fallen in love).
Other differences include Cooper’s return to Earth: Spielberg’s film ended in 2230, when the planet has now become a wasteland and humanity survives thanks to space stations in orbit (built thanks to Cooper’s scientific discoveries); to welcome the protagonist, however, would have been a descendant (and not his aged daughter), who would have given him the watch he had left with Murph before leaving.