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Christopher Nolan Talks Inception

An enigma slightly unwrapped

More veiled in secrecy than a squirrel in a balaclava, Christopher Nolan's sci-fi opus Inception is shaping up to be the most anticipated movie of the summer. We say 'shaping up' because, in truth, no one's been quite sure what it is we're anticipating.

The picture has become clearer, though, thanks to a piece in the LA Times, which shines a little light on the film's protagonist, Leonardo DiCaprio's heistman Dom Cobb. [Spoiler warning: If you want to go into it with a blank canvas, now's the time to look away.]

According to the LA Times, which has laid its mitts on a copy of the Inception script, Cobb drugs CEOs, including Cillian Murphy's young tycoon Fischer, attaching them to a device that plunders their ideas and business secrets. (And the cunning fellows at Slash Film have followed a viral trail from this T-shirt to a website that may reveal how the mysterious contraption works.)

"I originally wrote it as a heist movie," Nolan told the paper, "and heist movies traditionally are very deliberately superficial in emotional terms. They're frivolous and glamorous, and there's a sort of gloss and fun to it. I originally tried to write it that way, but when I came back to it I realized that - to me - that didn't work for a film that relies so heavily on the idea of the interior state, the idea of dream and memory. I realized I needed to raise the emotional stakes."

Expect that emotional core to come from DiCaprio's Cobb, a bruised dreamer himself, grieving for his wife and driven to new lengths of dream larceny.

According to Nolan, DiCaprio was integral in Cobb's character development. "I've incorporated a huge number of his ideas. Leo's very analytical, particularly from character point of view but also how the entire story is going to function and relate to his character... I think it's improved the project enormously. The emotional life of the character now drives the story more than it did before."

Also expect a typically complex, layered narrative from Nolan. Expect minimal effects, but for those effects to be the other side of insane (see: the folding cityscape of the trailer). But most of all, as the saying goes, expected the unexpected.

Inception is out on July 16.

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