Tag: leonardo di caprio

‘Inception’ world may live on as video game

'Inception' world may live on as video game

Christopher Nolan says he has lots of ideas that couldn’t fit in the film. But game won’t come soon.

Christopher Nolan might have the Midas touch when it comes to making movies, but he hasn’t had a lot of luck in the videogame arena. But that’s not dissuading the writer / director / producer, who plans to bring his hit film “Inception” to a console near you.

“We are looking at developing a videogame based on the world of the film, which has all kinds of ideas that you can’t fit into a feature film,” Nolan told reporters at a press conference in Rome, according to a report in Variety. “That’s something we’ve been talking about and are looking at doing long term, in a couple of years.”

The move makes sense. “Inception” has grossed over $750 million dollars at the box office since its release – and the film’s target audience lines up perfectly with the core gaming demographic.

But Nolan has tried to bring one of his movies to the gaming space before – 2008’s “The Dark Knight” – and it didn’t go well.

The game first missed a coordinated launch with the theatrical release, then failed to materialize when the DVD hit shelves. Ultimately, Electronic Arts cancelled the title after shutting down the studio that was working on it.

The world of video games is, of course, littered with forgettable movie-based tie-ins. The vast majority of those were rush jobs done by developers who were far removed from the film process, rarely (if ever) coordinating with the director.

'Inception' world may live on as video game

If Nolan were to take an active role in the “Inception” game’s development, that would be an encouraging sign – but it would hardly be a guarantee of success.

Just ask James Cameron. The most successful director of all time worked closely with Ubisoft when that publisher was creating the videogame companion for “Avatar”. But when the game launched, it didn’t come close to mirroring the film’s success, failing to even crack the list of the top 20 best-selling games last December.

Atari had better luck when it worked with the Wachowski brothers on “Enter the Matrix”. Launching simultaneously with “The Matrix Reloaded” in 2003, the game went on to sell 5 million copies – but it was lambasted by critics and players, and future “Matrix” games weren’t big sellers.

Other Hollywood directors have been able to extend their cinematic prowess to the gaming screen, though. Peter Jackson worked closely with Ubisoft to create the gaming adaptation of his “King Kong” film, a game that went on to become one of the premiere launch titles for the Xbox 360. And Steven Spielberg has worked on non-movie related games with Electronic Arts — including his “Boom Blox” puzzle games — that have gone on to become critical smashes.

More recently, developers at Disney Interactive Studios worked closely with Pixar on the video game version of “Toy Story 3.” That game became one of the most lauded movie tie-in titles in the company’s history.

Nolan’s not the only celebrated director expressing interest in exploring the game world these days. Guillermo Del Toro, director of the “Hellboy” franchise and “Pan’s Labyrinth,” is said to be close to signing a deal with publisher THQ to work jointly on “games that are going to be technically and narratively very interesting.”

Like Nolan, del Toro has an artistic vision that’s distinct from the rest of Hollywood. Gamers are wary, having been burned by too many bad Hollywood tie-ins already, but hopeful that the magic the directors bring to the big screen is something they can deliver to the consoles as well.

Related Link: Inception Movie Full Production Notes

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In Theaters: Leonardo DiCaprio vs. Nicolas Cage

Inception

Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the best in the dangerous art of extraction: stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved.

Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible—inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse; their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming.

Related Link: Inception Full Production Notes

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Balthazar can’t do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. It’ll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Related Link: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Full Production Notes

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Nolan’s Big Movie, DiCaprio’s Insane Shoot

Nolan's Big Movie, DiCaprio's Insane Shoot

Leonardo DiCaprio calls filming a scene for the thriller in the middle of a blizzard “insane.”

“You periodically felt like you were a part of something truly insane, but it was all in a day’s work,” Leonardo DiCaprio told me during a junket for the movie “Inception.” Even if that day’s work includes shooting on a mountain in the middle of a blizzard.

Based on an original script by director Christopher Nolan, “Inception” is a film that defies easy sound-bite descriptions. Its Russian nesting doll-like structure of a dream enclosed within a dream enclosed within another dream virtually demands multiple viewings. Think Philip K. Dick meets “The Italian Job.”

Nolan’s previous silver screen venture was a little movie called “The Dark Knight” — the highest grossing non-James Cameron movie in American history. So for this go-around, the director’s vast, ambitious vision seems to have been utterly unfettered by financial constraints. And it shows.

Nolan's Big Movie, DiCaprio's Insane Shoot

“Inception” was shot in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Morocco, London, Paris and the Canadian Rockies. It features shots of the French capital folding in on itself M.C. Escher-style, a zero-G fist fight, and a freight train blasting through the streets of downtown Los Angeles. And in one sequence, Leo and the gang stage a raid on a snow-bound Alpine fortress — the aforementioned shoot in the blizzard.

Leo describes an exchange he had with an assistant director during production. “When we started shooting one of the ADs said, ‘Before you get to lunch we want to do some of the avalanche shots.’ ‘OK, how is that going to happen?’ ‘We’re going to blow up a couple mountains and we’re going to start a couple of avalanches and you’re going to get in there and be a part of it and then we’ll take you to lunch.’ And this is kind of what you expect on a Chris Nolan set.”

Co-star Ellen Page agreed. “It was definitely the most extreme environment I’ve ever filmed in.”

And if you thought that cast worked hard, try the production crew. That fortress had to be constructed out of wood and plaster — carried straight up the mountain — without the use of normal construction equipment. It was so cold up there that paint froze on the brush.

For a summer movie season that has proved to be easily the lamest in recent memory, filled with tepid adaptations and tired ’80s retreads, Christopher Nolan’s brand of cinematic insanity might just be what the doctor ordered.

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