Interstellar, the much-anticipated US$165 million ($209 million) movie stars Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey as astronauts on a mission to find a habitable planet in a galaxy far, far away. McConaughey leaves behind his young daughter who, in the movie's unequal time zones, grows up to be played by Jessica Chastain. Here's a pre blast-off countdown about what you should know ...
10. The beginning
Interstellar began life as a treatment written by producer Lynda Obst and theoretical physicist Dr Kip Thorne, an expert on wormholes and Einstein's theory of relativity. Steven Spielberg was the first director attached and he brought in Nolan's brother, Dark Knight scribe Jonathan, to write the script. Spielberg left the project in 2009, and Christopher Nolan jumped aboard last year.
9. The inspiration
Nolan has said his new film is in part a tribute to the optimism of the space age. "I grew up in a time when to be an astronaut was the highest ambition of any child," he said at this year's Comic-Con. The film also harks back to the grand sci-fi epics that inspired Nolan as a boy - as well as Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
8. Flora's Letter
The code name for the film during production referred to Nolan's daughter Flora, his inspiration for the story's bond between McConaughey's Cooper and the young Murph played by Mackenzie Foy.
"My strongest connection with Jonah's original draft was the relationship between the father and the children he has to leave," says Nolan. "I changed [Murph] into a girl [because] it felt very relatable to me - I have a daughter. For me, the film is about being a father and how hard it can be to have to leave your kids to go to work."
Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey.
7. Family affair
Not only is the director's brother involved as writer, Interstellar marks yet another director-producer partnership for Nolan and producer partner Emma Thomas.
"The fact my brother started the whole thing, my wife produces it and the whole family engagement is very important, I hope does seep into the feeling of the film."
6. Working at the speed of light
McConaughey: "You shoot a scene with Christopher and you feel like you're doing an independent film. He's not a perfectionist at all. There's no doing 40 takes - you do three or four then move on."
Chastain: "It was great because Christopher Nolan is an independent film-maker who happens to work at a studio. Yes, Interstellar is a big-budget film, but it's his voice, you feel completely like it's his movie all the way. He doesn't believe in wasting time. We finished the movie two weeks early."
5. Working below zero
Having filmed mountain scenes in snow-bound Alberta for Inception and gone to Alaska for 2002 thriller Insomnia, this time Nolan headed to Iceland, where the weather forced a halt to production.
"The wind literally lifted the asphalt off the road," says Hathaway, who, in another scene found herself showing signs of hypothermia when her spacesuit sprang a leak while floating in icy waters. Nolan called "cut" - eventually.
Director Christopher Nolan.
4. Bigger is better
Still a reluctant user of 3D, Nolan partially shot Interstellar on 70mm Imax film as he did before on his Dark Knight movies. Says Nolan: "For me it's all about the theatrical experience - getting audiences to see Interstellar as an experience in the theatre with other people."
3. It's bigger than Gravity
Interstellar is inevitably being weighed against last year's Gravity, with many expecting it to repeat that film's trio of critical, box-office and awards success. But how is Interstellar different?
Hathaway: "It's exactly the same. We remade that movie."
Chastain: "And threw in some other characters."
McConaughey: "We shot our own movie on their set. Remember when Sandra and George came in? Basically we're going a lot further out than Gravity."
2. It's got some cosmic ideas
Nolan insists the movie's physics can be understood by a 10-year-old - the age he was when he saw astronomer Carl Sagan's Cosmos series. "There's nothing in this film that can't be understood by a kid who watched that series. That's how good he was at communicating these ideas.
"What the real physics presents you is a great set of opportunities - things far more interesting than we could ever just sit there and devise."
Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and David Oyelowo.
1. It's a glimpse into the future
Nolan wanted to make a film forecasting something he believes is imminent. "I certainly see [it] as some kind of inevitability in human evolution - this moment where the human species will have to leave the planet and find our place in the wider universe. That's an extraordinary moment in potential development of the species.
"Some of the great blockbusters I grew up with as a kid, like Close Encounters, addressed that moment where human life meets alien life. I love the idea of a sci-fi film that pinpoints a thing, which we may reasonably suppose is going to happen [and] what will that will feel like when it comes
"I've been asked a lot whether I think it's worth investing in space travel versus problems we have here on Earth and it's a false choice. We have to be exploring the universe we live in and I hope within our lifetimes we will be doing a lot more of that ... because I'd like to be around to see it."
When and where: At cinemas from November 6
- TimeOut/additional reporting Independent