- Title: JAPAN: Leonardo DiCaprio says record-breaking "Inception" challenges Hollywood
- Date: 21st July 2010
- Summary: (*** FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY ***) CAST AND CREW POSING FOR MEDIA AND WAVING
- Embargoed: 5th August 2010 13:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Reuters ID: LVA8OXU685TFSLQ0H213E164LV87
- Story Text: Stars of summer blockbuster film "Inception," Leonardo DiCaprio and Ken Watanabe held a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday (July 22), also joined by "Inception" director Christopher Nolan and a crowd of international media.
"Inception" is a twisty new thrill ride into the subconscious, which was written and directed by Nolan, the English filmmaker responsible for the last two "Batman" movies.
Nolan, DiCaprio and Watanabe are currently on their Asia leg of the film's world tour, which started in London in early July.
DiCaprio, proud to see the film's huge success, says Nolan's unique new ideas really challenged the norms of Hollywood studios.
"This is a very difficult film to come about from the Hollywood studio systems. It is few and far between where you get something that really encompasses everything as far as the scope of everything Hollywood has to offer, but also is this very surreal multi dimensional plot structure. These ideas don't come out of Hollywood very often," said DiCaprio.
He also added that the film is not your ordinary summer blockbuster.
"I jumped on the opportunity and I hope everyone here really supports this new idea or this new concept because it seems to me a lot of film that come out especially during the summer time seem to be, I don't know, they seem to be recycled from other plot structures and this is a truly unique idea," he added.
The film opened at No. 1 at the weekend box office in North America on Sunday (July 18), pulling in 60.4 million U.S. dollars from moviegoers happy to be vexed by one of the few big original pictures of the summer, according to estimates issued by distributor Warner Bros. Pictures.
It set a new personal best for DiCaprio, surpassing the 41 million-U.S. dollar start for "Shutter Island" in February.
In the film, DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, who leads a team of freelance dream thieves extracting valuable secrets from within people's subconscious during their dreams.
Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in the world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive.
He takes one last job from a powerful Japanese businessman played by Watanabe and to help, Cobb forms a group of dream thieves, including two played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page.
Co-star Watanabe says Nolan's traditional way of filming also led the film to the top of the box office.
"People tend to think we used a lot of computer graphics in various scenes, but we basically built up an actual set around actors and used various filming methods shooting from different angles. We also traveled around six countries to shoot so this film is extremely analog in a way," Watanabe told the audience.
Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc., partnered on the 160 million-U.S. dollar project with studio-based financier Legendary Pictures, and they spent more than 100 million U.S. dollars on the marketing.
The film also earned 15.6 million U.S. dollars from seven foreign markets, led by a first-place, 8.6 million U.S. dollars opening in Britain.
Nolan says the key to making an original film starts from convincing the big studios.
"You have to understand that the studio systems always crave novelty, new things, freshness. We've understood that the big successes in studio film-making have always come from the audiences demand for something new. Audiences are very intolerant of seeing the same thing again and again," said Nolan.
"The trick is to convince the studio that the new thing that you have is actually going to be something that audiences want. It helped us enormously that our last film 'The Dark Knight' had been a large world-wide success," he added.
Nolan, who turns 40 later this month, came up with the idea of "Inception" a decade ago, citing a fascination with the relationship of people's waking and dreaming lives.
The film plunges the audience into the murky and often disturbing depths of the subconscious mind, where anything goes but nothing is quite what it seems.
"Inception" opens in theatres across Japan on Friday (July 23) and adds 29 countries this weekend.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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