The 44-year-old actor portrays Cooper, a widowed engineer with two children, who leaves his family behind to take part in a mission to outer space. Cooper, Brand (Anne Hathaway) and a group of other travelers use a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations of human space travel, and attempt to save a dying Earth and mankind.
The film is directed by Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight trilogy), who wrote the script with brother Jonathan Nolan. Producer Lynda Obst developed the idea for the story with theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, and the movie co-stars Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn and Michael Caine.
Nolan told fans at San Diego Comic-Con that Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) served as his single biggest inspiration. He also said Interstellar is "really about human beings ... what our place is in the universe."
"He's a man whose reach constantly exceeds his grasp," McConaughey said of Nolan at the panel. "With this film, that's true. This is by far the most ambitious film Nolan has ever directed."
Interstellar is scheduled for release November 7.