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Is “Inception” Based On a Comic Book? Film Blog Water Cooler 8/3/10

Is "Inception" Based On a Comic Book? Film Blog Water Cooler 8/3/10

Did Christopher Nolan spend too much time in the comic book store researching for his Batman films and accidentally pilfer a plot from an issue of “Uncle Scrooge”? That’s the question of the day, which reminds me of the time the Internet thought too much about whether the Wayans brothers movie “Little Man” had ripped off a Bugs Bunny cartoon (specifically “Baby Buggy Bunny”). That one was more likely light theft due to certain precise similarities, while this whole idea that a Scrooge McDuck story inspired “Inception” is just a fun little coincidence. And a chance for people to read in full a Dan Rosa-penned comic.

As far as I can tell, the only specific parallels between Rosa’s “The Dream of a Lifetime,” which has the Beagle Boys and Donald Duck entering McDuck’s dream, and the film are the idea of getting at a rich man’s safe combination and the concept of a fall in the dream causing one to awaken from it. But I can see just as many connections between the comic (part of a 2005 collection “The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck”) and “Time Bandits,” “Titanic,” “Being John Malkovich” and any movie about the James Gang.

Interestingly enough, just as people are talking about “Inception” being possibly influenced by a comic book, it is also in the news for in turn influencing another comic — er, comic book movie, anyway. Apparently the script for “X-Men: First Class” has had to be altered on account of it featured some dreamworld scenes that bear too much resemblance to sequences in “Inception.” Isn’t a game changer supposed to cause copycats, not deter them?

Here is what others are saying around the water cooler today:

Mark at I Watch Stuff:

Leonardo DiCaprio & Friends may be the ones getting all the press and WTFs for their recent dream manipulations, but guess who was already extracting private information from dreams YEARS ago. That’s right: as usual, it was popular avian sailor Donald Duck, Gyro Gearloose, and some criminal beagles who were at the cutting edge of convoluted sci-fi dream plots way back in 2002.

Gabe Delahaye at Videogum:

Holy cow. CAUGHT! Christopher Nolan should go for a swim in a giant vault filled with gold JAIL CELLS! (Huh?) The point is: this is an incredible rip-off! (And apparently, the awesome floating hallway fight-scene that everyone loves so much was taken directly from a GummiBears Christmas Special.)

Peter Hall at Cinematical:

I’m not saying Christopher Nolan extracted the ‘invade people’s dreams to steal their secrets’ concept of Inception from Uncle Scrooge in The Dream of a Lifetime, but…

Geoff Boucher at Hero Complex:

Is it fowl play? “Inception” is being hailed as a rare burst of true originality in contemporary Hollywood moviemaking but, as the above panel makes painfully clear, Christopher Nolan will soon be dealing with accusations that his complex dream-world heist film is really just a live-action adaption of a Scrooge McDuck comic-book story

Edith Zimmerman at Vulture:

Is Inception Merely a Scrooge McDuck Derivative?
… Or are we all just Scrooge McDuck derivatives?

Jeff Sneider at The Wrap:

The two-part, 26-page comic book titled “The Dream of a Lifetime!” was published by Boom! Studios in May 2004. You can read the comic in its entirety online for free, and if you have a few minutes to spare then you should, as it was better than the “Inception” comic that served as a prologue to the movie.

Josh Tyler at Cinema Blend:

What makes this whole thing really strange is that it’s more than just a similar idea, a lot of the little details match up. For instance, the Beagle Boys’ dream invasion team consists of seven members. If you count the stewardess who works for them on the plane, Cobb’s team also had seven members. Take a look at the machine they’re using. It’s a small, portable device which seems to work in a way very similar to the one used in Inception, with everyone who will enter the dream connected to it.

Wookie Johnson at Screen Junkies:

You’d think a zillionaire like Scrooge McDuck would have his mind trained against intruders entering his subconscious. And how do we know that Donald isn’t actually Tom Hardy? God, this comic is such a mindf*ck.

S.T. VanAirsdale at Movieline:

Like Inception’s composer did with Edith Piaf, expect Christopher Nolan to come right out and acknowledge his film’s intent to mirror the plot of a 2004 Uncle Scrooge comic.

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