Inception was the summer movie phenomena of this year. It enjoyed extraordinary box office and critical success - and is responsible for a multitude of “water cooler” debates on the film's ultimate meaning.
Inception's success has motivated Warner Bros. to pursue other “high concept” genre films. The studio’s recent purchase of the spec script Expulsion is a move in that direction. Brad Weston is set to produce, and bestselling sci-fi author Gregg Hurwitz, who is currently working as a consulting producer on ABC’s V, penned the script.
The title Expulsion, in relation to the movie Inception, brings to mind an image of a team of highly specialized “dream police” whose mission is to “expel” an implanted idea from a subjects mind - a concept that tickles both the funny bone and the imagination. The films are, of course, only related by studio and genre.
In reality, Expulsion tells the story of a small group of survivors, who must venture into space in search of a new home - after a terrorist attack completely destroys the Earth. The subject matter is topical, and the circumstances provide great potential for dramatic tension and compelling relationships.
In terms of the characters and relationships, it seems unlikely that the group of survivors handpicked each other to hit the restart button on humanity together. One can only imagine that a good bulk of the film will address their ability to manage the crisis as well as manage their personal relationships. When done well, this set-up could provide powerful interpersonal dynamics.
The proof will ultimately be in the pudding, but Warner Bros. has been working on some richly textured sci-fi films. The studio is also developing Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, which has Robert Downey Jr. attached, but is still seeking a female lead. Gravity tells the story of a woman trapped in space as the lone survivor of a crash, and will focus on her struggle to survive, stay sane, and return to Earth to be united with her daughter.