Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi thriller Inception comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray today, and of all the dazzling extras it offers, surely the gimmick they’re calling “Extraction Mode” will generate the most interest. Run the movie in this mode and it actually pauses in the midst of the action to let you know, in a feature vignette, how this or that trick in the elaborate puzzler was pulled off.
So when Warner Bros. threw a party in the Hollywood Hills last night to ballyhoo the DVD release, as well as to stoke the fires of its awards season campaigns for the summer blockbuster, it seemed obvious that “extraction mode” was the way to work the party. Just like in the movie, where Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page are an elite team that infiltrates people’s brains to steal their secrets (or plant ideas), a wily journalist could surely lob enough well-aimed questions to coax some fresh info out of these celebrants about their latest escapades.
But in the real world, this goal proved elusive. Nolan, bearded and affable, explained that he’s scrambling to finish the script for The Dark Knight Rises, his third Batman movie, which he’s writing in collaboration with his brother Jonathan, mostly from his oceanfront abode in Malibu. The script is due in January for a July release. But he wouldn’t say what the story’s about or who the villain is, other than to confirm that Inception’s Tom Hardy will play “a key role, not saying good or bad,” and to shoot down reports that he’ll resurrect The Joker by including unused footage of Heath Ledger’s performance in the previous chapter. “That’s all wrong,” said the writer-director, who’s also producing the next Superman movie, for Zack Snyder to direct.
DiCaprio, who was smoking a cigar while entertaining pals on the patio next to the infinity pool against a dazzling backdrop of L.A. nighttime lights, said he’s between movies and traveling a lot this year for pleasure. He said he’d been to the Middle East, and just returned from South Africa, where he went to take in the World Cup soccer matches, and said he’d been concerned to learn that many lions in Africa are suffering from the feline equivalent of the AIDS virus.
Composer Hans Zimmer was attempting an early exit to catch a plane – not surprising given that he’s got no less than 11 projects on the burner – his busiest year ever. “I never planned it like this - it’s just that all my friends got busy at once,” he declared. On Jan. 1 he starts scoring Chapter 4 in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, which shot months ago in Hawaii. He’ll follow that with the Sherlock Holmes sequel, a Kung Fu Panda follow-up; then he’ll work on Nolan’s new Superman chapter. As far as the Inception DVD, Zimmer was eager to talk up a wild-sounding feature that he says lets you “score your dreams,” by recognizing your environment and creating a soundscape to match. His tip: sit by the ocean and let the score match that. “It’ll blow your mind,” he assured me. “It’s better than drugs.” (Here's TOH's Zimmer flip cam interview.)
Also on the scene was Inception star Ellen Page and producer Emma Thomas, but missing was actor Tom Hardy, who’s in Canada shooting the comedy This Means War.