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A Cinematic Universe Within a Dream, Inside A Dream

The idea of an ICU, an Inception Cinematic Universe could completely unravel the universe as we know it and make us question our own reality.

What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient... highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it's almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed - fully understood - that sticks; right in there somewhere. - Cobb (Inception)

And there it is, an idea. The single most resilient parasite. Once it takes hold, it's nearly impossible to remove. That's how I feel about the concept of Cinematic Universes for some of my favorite films. I love the idea of various Cinematic Universes outside of the comic realms of DC and Marvel.

A cinematic universe is a fantastic concept once you find the right story, and I think that there is one film in particular that could easily be turned into a universe of sorts. That film is: Inception.

Easily, one of my favorite films in the past 5 years, Inception follows a skilled thief, Dominic Cobb, on his goal of redemption and returning to the life he lost after getting caught up in the world of corporate espionage. His particular skill set is his ability to extract secrets deep from within the subconscious of an individual within a dream state. It was, in my mind, an incredible film that left me with so many thoughts and ideas, which as Cobb describes can be the most resilient and contagious parasite. An idea remains no matter how hard you try to destroy it.

The idea of an ICU, an Inception Cinematic Universe could completely unravel the universe as we know it and make us question our own reality. And that is awesome!

So where could the ICU go. We already know where Inception started, it started with an idea. An idea that Cobb had to plant an idea so deep in a person's subconscious that it became their reality, completely altering their outlook and understanding of real vs. dream.

I can see the cinematic universe unfolding in a way like this:

The prequel

Never recreate from your memory. Always imagine new places!

I personally would love to see the beginning of where Cobb came from. I want to know his background and how he learned the ability to access the dream state of people. I want to see the relationship he had as a student of Michael Caine's character, Stephen Miles. 

This story would focus on young Cobb, as he is being mentored by Professor Miles on architecture and how he gets involved with dream-sharing in general. Ultimately leading this story to the start of Cobb's relationship with his wife, Mal. We would find a young Cobb as he is just learning to hone his skills of dream-sharing, which at the time for him was purely about the experience and we watch as it evolves into a quest for profit and personal gain and we begin to see the danger that he is putting himself in as well as the people that he cares about.

The formation of the team

Following shortly after the early story of Cobb, I would love to see a story that focuses on Eames and how he became involved with Cobb and ultimately how they started working together. The dichotomy of their relationship is way too intriguing for me to pass up the opportunity to watch their interactions before Inception. 

Eames tends to lean toward the intuitive and subjective interpretation of the world. It would be fun to watch how the team of Inception worked together before Cobb lost everything that he held precious. This movie would focus on the actions that brought the two of them together, as through Inception it seemed as though they had a long history. I would love to see him start at a young age as he learns to forge in general and how he merges that talent into his jobs with Cobb.

The truth of what it all meant

The third film in the Inception Cinematic Universe would pick up years after Inception, and would focus on Ariadne. She was the hitch-pin in the entire film as she understood what truly made each of them tick and she spent most of the film working it all out in her mind as she was the architect of the dream and she designed some truly incredible depth to the dreamscapes that she created. It would be a beautiful addition to the story to focus on her after their escape from the dream-within-a-dream-inside-a-dream-buried-in-another-dream. 

How she moved on with her life. I imagine her not able to give up the dream sharing, although she may not have turned it into the illegal extraction that Cobb did, I see her story focusing on seeking something for Arthur. I think the pairing of the two would make a really interesting storyline as Ariadne focuses on the imaginative and hopeful aspects of reality and dream, and as was mentioned in the 2nd film Arthur focuses on the rational and objective aspects. Watching Ariadne create a completely illogical 'dream state' and having Arthur try to rationalize it in the pursuit of rescuing Cobb from a bigger villain that is out to get him and his family.

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A Cinematic Universe Within a Dream, Inside A Dream
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