How Christopher Nolan’s ‘Inception’ Evolved From ‘The Dark Knight’

Director Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” hits theaters today, and while everyone’s throwing around terms like “groundbreaking” and “revolutionary” to describe the mind-bending film, there’s one question on the minds of most comic fans: how does it match up against his previous blockbuster, “The Dark Knight”?

In an interview with MTV News, Nolan described how “The Dark Knight” and prior films like “Memento” played a role in the development of “Inception.”

“I’ve been very fortunate in my career in many ways, but very much in the way in which I’ve been able to build one film to the next,” he told MTV News. “I started with the smallest-possible-scale film, ’Following,’ which I made with friends on weekends — just us doing to it. To ’Memento,’ which had a real budget and a real cast. I gradually built on that.”

“What I’ve tried to do with every new film is to challenge myself,” he said. “I don’t want to do the same thing again. I don’t want to do something I already know I can do. I want to try and do something that builds on what I’ve learned, that takes it someplace new.”

Asked how “Inception” compares to previous films like “Dark Knight,” Nolan offered a surprising take on the difference between this film and his last.

“It’s probably the first one that’s at this stage of it that hasn’t shrunk,” he explained. “Normally you get to a point where you’ve worked on it for so long, you’ve seen it so many times — sound mixing and putting visual effects in, editing over and over again — there’s a point where it becomes something less than you thought it was. It becomes smaller — just geographically or physically.”

“I think ’Inception’ resists that,” he continued. “Partly it’s because the world of the human mind, the idea that you can kind of go anywhere in this story, means that its limitations are hard to get a hold of. It kind of lives outside the movie in a way. I think that’s fun. I think that’s what Hollywood blockbusters should be trying to do.”

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