Leonardo DiCaprio’s Twisty Sci-Fi Classic Is Being Removed From Netflix, See It Before It’s Gone

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in Inception, leaving Netflix on May 31.

By Kevin C. Neece | Updated

leonardo dicaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception

Leonardo DiCaprio’s trippy sci-fi action epic, Inception, will soon be making its exit from Netflix. The 2010 film, written and directed by Christopher Nolan, made a big stir when it was released for its incredibly unique visual style, complex story, and boundary-pushing visual effects. Now considered a classic, the Warner Bros. cinematic spectacle has become famous as one of the auteur’s standout films.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt star as Dom Cobb and Arthur, a pair of “extractors” who use underground technology to tap into people’s dreams and extract information from their subconscious as a form of corporate espionage. Its reality-bending intrigue and layered, slowly unfolding mystery are enhanced by action sequences that contract and stretch time and perception. This intense, complicated combination has caused the film to spend a decade and change since its release as a consistently popular and widely acclaimed piece of cinema.

Alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, the film stars Elliott Page (then Ellen), Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michel Caine. Nolan first conceived of Inception as a horror film, with a script about dream thieves that ran about 80 pages. Later, he had the idea to convert his story into a heist film, though he added emotional stakes and character depth to overcome the frequently shallow nature of that genre. It took nine to ten years for him to write the screenplay, which he pitched to Warner Bros. in 2001, before realizing he needed more experience as a director before starting the project.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s famous hallway scene

He had wanted to work with Leonardo DiCaprio for a long time and had met with him multiple times over the years, though he had failed each time to entice the actor to join him on a film. But DiCaprio was intrigued by Inception‘s concept, which was something new and different that had not been done before. Nolan, having by that time completed Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, felt he was comfortable and experienced enough with large-scale, big-budget films to tackle the immense challenge of bringing Inception‘s literal twists and turns to the big screen.

With Leonardo DiCaprio on board, principal photography was underway in June of 2009, with the production locations eventually including Tokyo, England, France, Morocco, Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Alberta. Released in July of 2010, the film instantly sparked buzz, conversation, and debate about its meaning and message, with much being made of questioning reality within it. The film won multiple awards, including Oscars for Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, and Wally Pfister’s remarkable cinematography.

Inception stands out as a career highlight for both Leonardo DiCaprio and Christopher Nolan, even featuring in a recent UK event that has brought some of the director’s best movies back to cinemas for a limited engagement. This comes in advance of his latest film, Oppenheimer, which releases this July. Catch Inception on Netflix while you still can, though, as it is set to leave the streaming service on June 1.