Given its reasonable boundlessness, many audiences hoped Christopher Nolan's Academy-winning 'Inception' would bring forth an all-out franchise. The curveball—or, should we say, turning top—the ending left a great deal of viewers seeking for some real resolution by way of a subsequent film, but it simply hasn't happened … yet. And here's why we haven't seen an Inception sequel.
At First, Nolan Was Kind Of Open To The Idea Of Sequel
Director Christopher Nolan was opened to the idea of Inception sequel.
Inception was released right before 'The Dark Knight Rises' finished off Nolan's three-part trek through Gotham City; despite the fact he wasn't generally a sequel man before, his Dark Knight trilogy seemed to change his tune. In fact, he told Deadline in 2011 that while he conceived of Inception as a one-shot cinematic experience, he wouldn't close the door on a possible return, basically on account of the result of his Batman experience.
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"I've always liked the potential of the world. It's infinite, or perhaps I should say infinitesimal world that fascinates me," Nolan explained. "I think of Inception as one film, but that's how I approach all of my films. When I was making Batman Begins, I certainly didn't have any thoughts of doing a second Batman film, let alone a third. You never quite know where your creative interests are going to take you. But when I was making Inception, I viewed it as a standalone movie."
Nolan Wanted A Video Game Series To Do The Trick
Nolan wanted to continue Inception in the video game.
To further explore the dream-within-a-dream world he'd invented, Nolan originally sought for a video game follow-up. The helmsman told Entertainment Weekly that he always imagined Inception to be a world where a lot of other stories could take place. He added the only direction his team was processing that is by rather developing a video game; ‘a longer-term proposition.’
He further explained during a 2010 Q&A conference (via Variety) that the reason a video game might be his favored medium for a new Inception story is that the platform would offer a considerably and progressively broad spot for storytelling.
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Indeed, the huge number of layers the dream world offered were teasingly under-explored, and a considerable lot of the successions had a gamer-esque quality—like the almost Minecraft-ish nature of the world building in the reduced dimension, Limbo, and the ultra-violent GoldenEye-style attack on the Snow Fortress—so perhaps there was something to the idea. As of 2019, however, there's been no news of progress on an Inception game.
The Ending Was More Final Than It Seemed
Despite the confusing end, inception was a perfect culmination to many of its characters.
SOURCE: Mama Mia
For many, the final scene of Inception was totally confusing and open-finished. In the last couple of minutes, Leonardo DiCaprio's 'Cobb' completed his mission to put the idea of dissolving an international energy company before it accomplished a worldwide monopoly into its beneficiary’s head. Then he went into the depths of cerebral chaos to recover his sponsor before he could forget his promise to restore Cobb's parental rights to his two children.
Cobb came back to his home and spun his totem, a metal top, then walked off to play with his kids outside. Since the top was still turning as the shot blurred to black, many viewers took that as an ultimate sign that perhaps Cobb hadn't finished the job just yet, and there was more to do before he could truly reunite with his children in the real world.
Nolan, however, intended to signify something more concrete with his culmination. He revealed to Princeton University graduates in 2015 (through The Hollywood Reporter) that the way the end of that film worked, is because Leonardo DiCaprio's character Cobb—was off with his kids, he was in his own intuitive reality.
The English filmmaker said he didn't really care anymore, and that makes a statement: perhaps, all levels of reality are valid. He added the camera moves over the spinning top just before it appears to be wobbling, and it was cut to black. The idea, at that point, is whether Cobb escaped his own head or not, his story was done—he was never again searching for an exit from whatever existence he was in.
Nolan's Been Tied Up With Other Projects
With so many other projects, Nolan became too busy for Inception 2. SOURCE: Vox
Regardless of whether Nolan wanted to consider stepping back into the world(s) of Inception, he's kept himself pretty busy with other projects. He came back to Gotham for the final Dark Knight installment after Inception's release, then wandered into all-new territory with 2014's Interstellar, about a futuristic space- and time-jumping journey to save humanity from impending annihilation.
Nolan additionally wrote and directed 'Dunkirk,' a World War II drama which opened to critical acclaim earning Nolan his first Academy nomination for best directing. What’s more, right now the world is getting more psyched for his recently announced film, Tenet starring Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki. So the more movies that stack up between Inception and its hypothetical sequel, the less likely it seems he'll ever return for the movie.
The Cast Has Been Pretty Busy, Too
Inception cast members became occupied with other Hollywood projects.
SOURCE: Indie Wire
Assuming a second Inception story would return to its focal characters, the cast's calendars would almost be another important consideration. After Inception, DiCaprio went on a professional tear, featuring in 'J. Edgar,' 'Django Unchained,' 'The Great Gatsby,' and 'The Wolf of Wall Street' all while gaining a rapid success in each title—then, after five Oscar nominations over 22 years, he finally won Best Actor for his leading role in 2015's 'The Revenant.'
All the more as of late, DiCaprio has shifted his attention to philanthropic filmmaking with the documentary 'Before the Flood' and his upcoming big-screen 'Captain Planet' adaptation. Needless to say, he'd have to work between a super hectic schedule to find time for an Inception continuation.
DiCaprio's by all account is not the only one who's kept his professional plate all booked. Tom Hardy's went on to star in a few recent big-deal pictures, like 'TDKR', 'Mad Max: Fury Road', and 'The Revenant'.
Meanwhile, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has since made his directorial debut (2012's Don Jon), featured in a bunch of critical and commercial hits that include Looper and Oliver Stone's 2016 biopic Snowden, and he even runs his own indie production venture. Clearly, they'd all be eager to join in for another project with Nolan on the off chance, the filmmaker wants to do a sequel, yet booking a period that might work for all of these individuals could possibly be pretty entangled.
It'd Probably Cost A Lot Of Money
Inception cost a fortune to WB Studio.
After Nolan's Inception earned the studio some genuine plunder (as much as $825 million worldwide, more than Batman Begins), there was some obvious interest by the executives in potential development. Far better, thoughts were flowing in from the peanut gallery with respect to how Inception 2 might actually work.
In any case, a cursory review of Hollywood's history with follow-ups may uncover that even when the principal installment of a series is a cash machine, the accompanying films do not always guarantee the success (The Divergent Series: Allegiant and Independence Day: Resurgence).
As reported by E! Online, the first film's financial limit was long from modest at a whopping $160 million, so if the second film were to draw in an audience, it would have to be even bigger—and could cost a risky amount of greens. That potential cost could surely be a hangup, particularly considering Nolan's never truly claimed to have a plan for another Inception film in the first place.