Inception script
Inception (2010)
Synopsis: Inception is a 2010 science fiction film written, co-produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan, and co-produced by Emma Thomas. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a professional thief who steals information by infiltrating the subconscious, and is offered a chance to have his criminal history erased as payment for a seemingly impossible task: "inception", the implantation of another person's idea into a target's subconscious. The ensemble cast additionally includes Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine.

FADE IN:

DAWN. CRASHING SURF.

The waves TOSS a BEARDED MAN onto wet sand. He lies there.

A CHILD’S SHOUT makes him LIFT his head to see: a LITTLE

BLONDE BOY crouching, back towards us, watching the tide eat

a SANDCASTLE. A LITTLE BLONDE GIRL joins the boy. The Bearded

Man tries to call them, but they RUN OFF, FACES UNSEEN. He

COLLAPSES.

The barrel of a rifle ROLLS the Bearded Man onto his back. A

JAPANESE SECURITY GUARD looks down at him, then calls up the

beach to a colleague leaning against a JEEP. Behind them is a

cliff, and on top of that, a JAPANESE CASTLE.

INT. ELEGANT DINING ROOM, JAPANESE CASTLE - LATER

The Security Guard waits as an ATTENDANT speaks to an ELDERLY

JAPANESE MAN sitting at the dining table, back to us.

ATTENDANT:

(in Japanese)

He was delirious. But he asked for

you by name. And...

(to the Security Guard)

Show him.

SECURITY GUARD:

(in Japanese)

He was carrying nothing but this...

He puts a HANDGUN on the table. The Elderly Man keeps eating.

SECURITY GUARD:

...and this.

The Security Guard places a SMALL PEWTER CONE alongside the

gun. The Elderly Man STOPS eating. Picks up the cone.

ELDERLY JAPANESE MAN

(in Japanese)

Bring him here. And some food.

INT. SAME - MOMENTS LATER

The Elderly Man watches the Bearded Man WOLF down his food.

He SLIDES the handgun down the table towards him.

ELDERLY JAPANESE MAN

(in English)

Are you here to kill me?

The Bearded Man glances up at him, then back to his food.

The Elderly Japanese Man picks up the cone between thumb and

forefinger.

ELDERLY JAPANESE MAN

I know what this is.

He SPINS it onto a table- it CIRCLES gracefully across the

polished ebony... a SPINNING TOP.

ELDERLY JAPANESE MAN

I’ve seen one before. Many, many

years ago...

The Elderly Japanese Man STARES at the top mesmerized.

ELDERLY JAPANESE MAN

It belonged to a man I met in a

half-remembered dream...

MOVE IN on the GRACEFULLY SPINNING TOP...

ELDERLY JAPANESE MAN

A man possessed of some radical

notions...

The Elderly Japanese Man STARES, remembering...

COBB (V.O.)

What’s the most resilient parasite?

CUT TO:

INT. SAME ELEGANT DINING ROOM - NIGHT (YEARS EARLIER)

The speaker, COBB, is 35, handsome, tailored. A young

Japanese man, SAITO, eats as he listens.

COBB:

A bacteria? A virus?

Cobb gestures at their feast with his wine glassCOBB

An intestinal worm?

Saito’s fork pauses, mid-air. Cobb GRINS. A third man is at

the table- ARTHUR. He jumps in to save the pitchARTHUR

What Mr. Cobb is trying to sayCOBB

An idea.

Saito looks at Cobb, curious.

2.

COBB:

Resilient, highly contagious. Once

an idea’s taken hold in the brain

it’s almost impossible to

eradicate. A person can cover it

up, ignore it- but it stays there.

SAITO:

But surely-to forget...?

COBB:

Information, yes. But an idea?

Fully formed, understood? That

sticks...

(taps forehead)

In there, somewhere.

SAITO:

For someone like you to steal?

ARTHUR:

Yes. In the dream state, conscious

defenses are lowered and your

thoughts become vulnerable to

theft. It’s called extraction.

COBB:

But, Mr. Saito, we can train your

subconscious to defend itself from

even the most skilled extractor.

SAITO:

How can you do that?

COBB:

Because I am the most skilled

extractor. I know how to search

your mind and find your secrets. I

know the tricks, and I can teach

them to your subconscious so that

even when you’re asleep, your guard

is never down.

Cobb leans forwards. Holding Saito’s gaze.

COBB:

But if I’m going to help you, you

have to be completely open to me.

I’ll need to know my way around

your thoughts better than your

wife, your analyst, anyone.

(gestures around)

If this is a dream and you’ve got a

safe full of secrets, I need to

know what’s in that safe. For this

to work, you have to let me in.

3.

Saito gives this a flicker of a smile. Rises. A BODYGUARD

opens double doors which give onto a LAVISH PARTY.

SAITO:

Gentlemen. Enjoy your evening as I

consider your proposal.

They watch Saito leave. Arthur turns to Cobb, worriedARTHUR

He knows.

Cobb motions silence. A TREMOR starts, they steady their

glasses, Cobb glances at his watch- THE SECOND HAND IS

FROZEN.

ARTHUR:

What’s going on up there?

And weCUT

TO:

FILTHY BATHROOM - DAY (FEELS LIKE DIFFERENT TIME)

Cobb, ASLEEP, SITTING IN A CHAIR AT THE END OF A STEAMING

BATH. The chair is up on a cabinet- the bottom of the legs

level with the rim of the tub.

A sweating man (40's) watches over Cobb. This is NASH. A

distant EXPLOSION rumbles through the room. Nash moves to the

window, parts the curtains. Outside: a CHAOTIC DEVELOPING-WORLD

CITY- the street filled with RIOTERS- SMASHING, BURNING.

Nash checks Cobb's left wrist: above his watch, tape holds

TWO THIN YELLOW TUBES in place. Nash looks at Cobb's watchTHE

SECOND HAND CRAWLS UNNATURALLY SLOWLY.

Nash follows the tubes to a SILVER BRIEFCASE at Arthur's

feet:
ARTHUR IS ASLEEP in an armchair. Tubes connect the

briefcase to Arthur's wrist.

Nash follows another set of tubes from the briefcase to where

they pass under the door to the bedroom. Through the crack of

the door, Nash sees SAITO ASLEEP on the bed, tubes running to

his wrist. BOOM- a closer EXPLOSION, and weCUT

TO:

INT. BULLET TRAIN COMPARTMENT - DAY (FEELS LIKE DIFFERENT TIME)

Nash, ASLEEP. Head ROCKING AGAINST THE WINDOW as the train

BUMPS OVER A ROUGH PIECE OF TRACK.

4.

A Japanese Man, TODASHI (18) watches Nash nervously. He

checks Nash's wrist: TWO YELLOW TUBES CONNECT NASH WITH THREE

OTHER SLEEPING MEN IN THE COMPARTMENT: COBB, ARTHUR, SAITO.

Todashi checks his watch: THE SECOND HAND TICKS IN REAL TIME.

Another TRAIN PASSES in the opposite direction with a MIGHTY

WHUMP− Todashi's eyes FLY to Nash's sleeping faceNASH

JERKS WITH THE MOVEMENT OF THE TRAIN, and weCUT

TO:

INT. FILTHY BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS

Another EXPLOSION- Nash CHECKS the sleeping Cobb and weCUT

TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP TERRACES, JAPANESE CASTLE - NIGHT

A LOW TREMOR RUMBLES THROUGH THE CASTLE. Cobb and Arthur

steady themselves against the wooden rail. Several TILES and

pieces of MASONRY fall. Below them a BLACK SEA churns. Other

GUESTS wander the massive terraces.

ARTHUR:

Saito knows. He's playing with us.

COBB:

I can get it here. The

information's in the safe− he

looked right at it when I mentioned

secrets.

Arthur nods. Then spots someone over Cobb's shoulder.

ARTHUR:

What's she doing here, Cobb?

Cobb turns to see a beautiful woman, elegantly dressed,

staring out at the sea. This is MAL. Cobb watches her.

COBB:

You just get to your room. I'll

take care of the rest.

ARTHUR:

See that you do. We're here to

work.

Arthur brushes past Mal, shaking his head. She nears Cobb.

Looks out at the DROP. The WIND WHIPS HER HAIRMAL

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Christopher Nolan

Christopher Edward Nolan (born 30 July 1970) is an English-American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He is one of the highest-grossing directors in history, and among the most successful and acclaimed filmmakers of the 21st century. more…

All Christopher Nolan scripts | Christopher Nolan Books

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"Inception" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 22 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/inception_1141>.

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