Despite the critical and financial success of the original, fans should not be expecting an Inception sequel to ever happen. Director Christopher Nolan’s Inception hit theaters over a decade ago in July 2010, establishing itself as an intelligent albeit mind-bending blockbuster that sparked extended conversations about its intricacies and much-talked-about ending. Despite so much time passing since it was released, there are still big questions about Inception. However, it remains very unlikely that an Inception sequel will ever fill in those blanks.

Inception followed Dom Cobb and his team, a group of highly-trained criminals who specialized in extracting information from a person’s dreams. Constructing elaborate worlds, earning the trust of the target, all was going well until they were asked to do the impossible. With Nolan’s timeless premise and expert direction, and actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the cast, Inception was a crime thriller with franchise potential written all over it. With Christopher Nolan established as a director and the lasting legacy of the first movie, a sequel would seem like a no-brainer, which makes why there has been no Inception 2 an ever-pressing question.

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Inception Was Only Meant To Be A Single Story

Joseph Gordon Levitt and Leo Dicaprio in Inception

It’s evident that the Inception the story doesn’t need to be returned to — it’s complete, at least as far as the Cobb’s arc is concerned. Inception’s ending is infamously open-ended, with no clear teases for a sequel. With that in mind, it’s clear Inception was only ever meant to be a standalone story. Inception works so well, in part, because it is the kind of deep premise that inspires endless conversation. While an entire sequel with a different plot and new characters would be appreciated by many, it isn’t needed. Inception functions very well as its own movie with no promise of a sequel and is clear in what it’s trying to achieve.

There’s also the fact that, for Nolan, the task of simply writing Inception was a Herculean feat. It took Nolan over a decade to actually write the Inception script with its confusing plot. The fact he came in on time and under budget is just the cherry on top of this pre-production story. Nolan’s dedication to making sure the story was there over the course of ten years is a sure sign that writing a second Inception film would be off the table if only because it would be such a draining effort.

Christopher Nolan Doesn’t Make Sequel Films To Original Ideas

Unlike other directors, Nolan has never so much as publicly pondered the idea of returning to the world of Inception in a sequel. As far as we can tell, there has always been and will only ever be one Inception. This seems to be in line with his usual approach as, despite several of his movies being massive successes, Nolan has largely avoided sequels to his work.

The clear exception here is Nolan’s work on The Dark Knight Trilogy, which he directed from 2005-2012. But even then there were whispers that Nolan begrudgingly signed back on for The Dark Knight Rises and may have been ready to move on. Generally speaking, Nolan has historically poured his heart into a single project rooted in an original script and then proceeded to move on to the next project without looking back.

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Christopher Nolan Has Other Projects To Focus On

Chris Nolan at the Helm of An IMAX Camera

Just because Nolan has let go of Inception 2 does not mean he’s been wanting for work; quite the opposite, in fact. Since Inception hit theaters in July 2010, Nolan has been hard at work as a director (not to mention writing and producing). After Inception, Nolan finished out his Batman trilogy with the aforementioned The Dark Knight Rises. He also went on to direct Interstellar, which tells the story of a team of astronauts in search of a new home with planet Earth on the brink of extinction.

In 2017 Nolan stepped into the war genre with Dunkirk, which recounted the British army’s evacuation from the beaches of Dunkirk from three different perspectives. His last movie, Tenet, continued Nolan’s fascination with time with a bold spy thriller with a time-travel twist. Nolan will follow Tenet with Oppenheimer, the real-life story of the man who created the atomic bomb. With such big ideas to explore, it is not surprising that Nolan isn’t overly interested in revisiting Inception.

Could Someone Else Make Inception 2?

The spinning top at the end of Inception

As much as an Inception sequel doesn’t seem likely, it is hard to ignore all the possible storylines there are still left to explore in the fascinating sci-fi world that Nolan created. The ability to enter people’s dreams is a thrilling one, and lends itself to many different kinds of stories beyond the heist movie set-up of the original. However, perhaps the best way forward with the franchise is to make Inception 2 without Nolan. With Dom’s story wrapped up nicely, a whole new story can be told and Nolan doesn’t need to be the one to tell it.

It would be a daunting task to ask another filmmaker to follow up on Nolan’s Inception. However, this has been done successfully before with other beloved sci-fi movies. Alien and Blade Runner might have seemed like impossible movies to make without Ridley Scott, but their sequels have been praised by fans. Inception is a movie with so much interesting world-building that it seems like a waste to leave it at one movie, especially as fans have spent over a decade understanding how that world works. While it would be understandable if Nolan was hesitant to let go of the movie he created, he might find another filmmaker who can do justice to the world he created.

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