Inception is a 2010 American science fiction action film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine.
DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a thief who extracts information from the subconscious mind of his victims while they dream. Unable to visit his children, Cobb is offered a chance to regain his old life in exchange for one last job: performing inception, the planting of an idea into the mind of his client’s competitor.
Development began roughly nine years before Inception was released. In 2001, Nolan wrote an 80-page treatment about dream-stealers, presenting the idea to Warner Bros. The story was originally written as a heist film, inspired by concepts of lucid dreaming and dream incubation. Feeling he needed to have more experience with large-scale films, Nolan opted to work on Batman Begins, The Prestige and The Dark Knight. He spent six months polishing up the script for Inception before Warner Bros. purchased it in February 2009.
Filming spanned six countries and four continents, beginning in Tokyo on June 19, 2009 and finishing in Canada in late November of the same year. Composer Hans Zimmer scored the film, using parts of Edith Piaf’s song “Non, je ne regrette rien“.
Inception was officially budgeted at $160 million, a cost which was split between Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. Nolan’s reputation and success with The Dark Knight helped secure the film $100 million in advertising expenditure. Inception premiered in London on July 8, 2010 and was released in both conventional and IMAX theatres on July 14, 2010.
Released to overwhelming critical acclaim, the film grossed over $21 million on its opening day, with an opening weekend gross of $62.7 million to score Nolan his second highest grossing film to date following The Dark Knight.