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inception

Five Ideas for the Now-Possible Inception Sequel

When Warner Bros. agreed to foot the $160 million bill for Inception, they probably just thought they were doing an easy Batman-deductible favor for the director whose Dark Knight made them like a billion dollars. But now that Christopher Nolan's passion project has earned $90 million worldwide in its first five days, it's hard to imagine that the studio isn't considering the film's franchise potential. Sure, Inception was very obviously designed as a stand-alone movie, with an ambiguous ending that would be cheapened by a sequel — but there's money to be made here! To help WB make their pitch to Nolan, we've come up with five ideas for an Inception 2.

Inceptions
If you thought the first movie was confusing, wait until you see Dom Cobb and his team try to break up a company by implanting opposing ideas in the dreams (and dreams within dreams, etc.) of its two different founders, simultaneously!

Inception: The Sleepsquel
Yesterday, CHUD's Devin Faraci posited an interesting theory that the dream-making process in Inception is a metaphor for filmmaking: Leonardo DiCaprio is playing a director (a version of Nolan), Saito is his producer, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Dileep Rao, and Tom Hardy are his crew, and Cillian Murphy the movie/dream's "audience." So Inception 2 could be Nolan's meta-commentary on the Hollywood sequel-making process: Dom Cobb and his team battle Saito over money; Ellen Page quits her job as the architect and gets replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal; and then they all halfheartedly reenter Murphy's consciousness. Also, since Nolan hates 3-D, Yusef the chemist could invent a powerful new sedative that makes dreams more vivid and allows the team to charge more money for their work — until it ends up killing everybody.

Inception II: Cobb Returns
On Sunday, we theorized that in Inception, Cobb is actually the one being "incepted" — called back to reality by someone who doesn't want to see him "become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone." Assuming the plan worked, he is free from regret over Mal's death, and Inception's final scene was not a dream, a sequel could feature a refreshed, reality-based Cobb taking on more extraction jobs against the wishes of his disapproving friends and family. (If Inception's final scene was a dream, though, Inception 2 could just be 150 minutes of Michael Caine shouting "Wake up!" in a sleeping Leonardo DiCaprio's ear.)

Inception 2: Unception
Owing to a clerical error, Cobb's team accidentally implants a guy with an idea meant for somebody else, so they have to go back in to convince him his previous dream was caused by some bad oysters.

Preception
How about a prequel? What was Cobb's job like back when he was single and before his nagging wife started turning up in dreams and ruining all the fun? Probably awesome: endless in-limbo keg-partying, threesomes with hot projections, etc.

Photo: Warner Bros.