Christopher Nolan's 'Inception' Headed for IMAX

Since Christopher Nolan's upcoming sci-fi film, Inception, premiered its teaser trailer in August, news and footage from the film have been rolling out steadily.

Today, we got word that Inception would receive a dual release in both standard 35mm and in IMAX. Check out the full text of the press release from the IMAX Corporation and Warner Bros. below for the details and our thoughts.

IMAX Corporation and Warner Bros. Pictures today announced that Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan (”The Dark Knight”) and starring multiple Oscar(R) nominee Leonardo DiCaprio (”Blood Diamond,” “The Aviator”), will be released to IMAX(R) theatres simultaneously with the film’s wide release in conventional theatres on July 16, 2010. The film marks the third IMAX project for Christopher Nolan, following the record-breaking IMAX release of “The Dark Knight,” which grossed more than $65 million at IMAX theatres. Inception, a contemporary sci-fi action film set within the architecture of the mind, will be digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience(R) with IMAX DMR(R) technology.

The film also stars Oscar nominee Ellen Page (”Juno”), Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe (”The Last Samurai”), Academy Award(R) winner Marion Cotillard (”La vie en rose”), Joseph Gordon Levitt (”(500) Days of Summer”), Tom Hardy (”RocknRolla”), Cillian Murphy (”Batman Begins”), Oscar nominee Tom Berenger (”Platoon”) and Academy Award winner Michael Caine (”The Cider House Rules”).

“Chris Nolan and IMAX have proven to be ideally suited to each other, and we’re very excited to bring them back together again for Inception,” said Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. Picture’s president of domestic distribution. “With the rapidly growing IMAX network, our IMAX audience base for this release will be significantly larger than it was for The Dark Knight, which will add to the film’s event status.”

“Chris Nolan’s unique vision makes his films ideally suited for the IMAX format,” said Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, President, Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures International. “As the number of IMAX screens around the world continues to grow, we’re thrilled to continue to supply films like Inception, which become that much richer when experienced in IMAX.”

“This is an incredible addition to our exciting and growing 2010 film slate,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. “Chris Nolan’s unique vision combined with the talents of Leonardo DiCaprio and the rest of the cast creates the kind of cinematic event that resonates very well with IMAX moviegoers.”

“We’re thrilled to be working again with Chris Nolan, Emma Thomas and Warner Bros. Pictures to deliver one of next year’s biggest movies to our growing audience worldwide,” added Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. “With a brilliantly creative and innovative director that knows and understands the power of the IMAX medium, a talented cast lead by a superstar actor and a powerhouse studio that knows how to communicate the IMAX(R) brand to audiences worldwide, this film has all the key ingredients that make this an anchor 2010 IMAX release.”

The first time I saw a feature film in IMAX was on the opening night of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. Now, I'm not prone to hyperbole, but seeing that film on IMAX totally blew me away. Not only was the action crisper, but, thanks to the enhanced sound quality, the heavy dialogue-driven scenes felt much more intense. Having seen the film multiple times since (in both the theater and on DVD), I can say wholeheartedly that IMAX significantly enhanced my appreciation of the film.

Of course, part of my enthusiasm for The Dark Knight came from the fact that Christopher Nolan shot numerous scenes for the film using IMAX cameras. Obviously the scenes shot on IMAX cameras were the best looking scenes in the whole movie. Unfortunately, for Inception, Nolan didn't use any IMAX cameras.

Does this mean that it won't be worth paying the extra money to go see it on the big, big, big screen? Not necessarily. Christopher Nolan is one of the most critically acclaimed and financially bankable directors working in Hollywood, and there's a reason why. Even though the film will have to be converted to IMAX from 35mm, I doubt that Nolan will let the quality of the movie slip in anyway.

What do you think? Are you a fan of the IMAX format? Would you pay more to see Inception on IMAX?

Inception hits theaters July 16th, 2010.

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