With a budget rumored to be around $200 million, a six month production in six countries, and an all-star cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, it came as little surprise when Christopher Nolan told the Los Angeles Times that Inception “is the biggest challenge Iâ€™ve taken on to this point.” But what exactly is Inception? Even after two trailers filled with folding cities, trains crashing through crowded streets, characters being submerged into tubs of water, and plenty of shifting hallways, details still remain foggy. “Is it an international thriller? A story of madness and lost love? Or Hollywood’s very first metaphysical heist movie?” According to Nolan, Inception is “all of the above.”
I grew up watching James Bond films and loving those and watching spy movies with their globetrotting sensibility,” said Nolan. “We get to do that here, not just geographically but also in time and dimensions of reality as well. We get to make a movie that’s expansive, I suppose you’d say, in four dimensions.
After the worldwide success of The Dark Knight, developing a project of this magnitude seemed a logical step. But Producer Emma Thomas, Nolan’s wife, revealed that this was not necessarily the case with Inception. “It’s something that we had been talking about on and off for seven or eight years,” Emma explained. “Coming off of the The Dark Knight, the only thing we really knew is that we wanted to do something more personal. It seemed like the right time to do this. The fact that it’s really just an enormous movie — that wasn’t ever really a factor in the decision. This story lends itself to a movie of this size.”
With The Dark Knight, Nolan aimed to create a film larger in scale than he had done before, a trend that continues with Inception. We’re trying to tell a story on a massive scale, a true blockbuster scale “ the biggest I’ve ever been involved with. We tried to make a very large-scale film with The Dark Knight and with this one we wanted to push that even further.
In six months we’ll be able to see if all of Nolan’s efforts paid off to deliver a blockbuster film that truly feels personal. Inception stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine. It opens in both standard and IMAX theaters July 16th.