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Inception 2 Still Needs To Happen (But Not With Nolan And DiCaprio)

An Inception sequel should do without Christopher Nolan directing and Leonardo DiCaprio starring, for a fresh perspective on the dream-sharing idea.

The world of Inception is still full of potential for a sequel, just not with actor Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead or director Christopher Nolan at its helm. Released in 2010, the original Inception is one of the best science fiction movies of the 21st century, having introduced the world to the idea of dream-sharing technology and mind heists. It tells a self-contained thriller story about a single operation in which a group of experts performs an “inception” by planting an idea in a businessman’s head to dissolve his father’s company. However, the world around this single story has so much more to offer.


Inception follows its espionage tale through the very personal narrative of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Dom Cobb, who is offered the chance to see his children again by doing this one final shared-dream-heist inception. The movie ends on an ambiguous note: Cobb is reunited with his children, but the audience is left uncertain if he is still dreaming or not. The ending works perfectly for the story, posing the question of whether it matters at all what reality Cobb is in if it feels real to him. To do a straight sequel to Inception following Cobb would ruin this ending, which only works if the audience doesn’t know his fate.

Related: Inception Theory Suggests Cobb’s Final Line Secretly Answers His Big Dream Mystery

An Inception sequel that instead looks at the broader world of dream-sharing provides countless opportunities. Rather than simply re-doing the same genre and tone, handing Inception 2 over to a new creative team could give a fresh point of view to the universe without damaging the original’s story. Indeed, Christopher Nolan’s original intention for Inception, in early drafts, was for it to be a horror film. Giving radically different filmmakers, like Guillermo Del Toro or Ari Aster, the chance to play in that sandbox could open the doors to this nightmarish vision. And the genre wouldn’t have to be horror either; Inception’s concept allows for anything — a smaller-scale intimate psychological study, a romance, even an all-out comedy.

Why Inception 2 Needs A Fresh Perspective

A split image of Christopher Nolan talking and Cillian Murphy in Inception

The strategy of having an almost entirely different creative vision for the sequel is already a proven formula too, with James Cameron’s blazing action sequel Aliens being a loud contrast to the more taut, isolated horror of Ridley Scott’s original Alien film. Doing the same for a true Inception sequel would make comparisons to the first movie less likely, giving audiences the chance to be surprised and to treat it as its own entity.

Turning Inception into a world for different storytellers to explore also makes sense considering the recent resurgence of the anthology format. Though this has been chiefly on television, with shows like Black Mirror and Inside No. 9 getting audiences back into the idea of a different story and genre in each installment, there is no reason Inception 2 couldn’t set a precedent for the big screen. The intrigue of what a different big filmmaker and star could do with such a sequel (or prequel) to Inception, with its boundless concept, is a tantalizing enough prospect without the need for a connecting actor or narrative thread between films.

The story that Christopher Nolan and Leonardo DiCaprio tell in the first Inception should be left alone. However, the world that Nolan developed is still filled with possibilities, which other perspectives could unlock. Dom Cobb’s dream heist may have come to its natural conclusion, but the potential of Inception has barely been tapped yet.

Next: Inception: One Subtle Detail Reveals When They’re In Arthur’s Dream

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