Christopher Nolan inks 'Inception'

Sets up original screenplay at Warner Bros.

Christopher Nolan has set up his next project with Warner Bros., an original screenplay he wrote called "Inception." The "Dark Knight" director hopes to shoot the sci-fi action film in the summer for a release during summer 2010.

Nolan will produce with partner Emma Thomas, who served as a producer on "The Dark Knight."

"Chris Nolan is a visionary filmmaker who continually raises the bar with each movie he makes," Warner Bros. Pictures Group president Jeff Robinov said. "We are thrilled to be collaborating again with him and Emma on this exciting new motion picture."

Given the billion-dollar bonanza Nolan delivered with "Knight," one would suppose a treatment based on some poems he wrote in his fifth-grade journal would have gotten the green light. The writer-director-producer has done well by the studio, with "Insomnia," "Batman Begins" and "The Prestige" bringing in close to half a billion in additional theatrical revenue.

"Inception" is described as "a contemporary sci-fi actioner set within the architecture of the mind."

This pushes back any potential filming on a new Batman film, but three years -- and "The Prestige" -- passed between "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight." Nolan has also long been attached to direct a big-screen adaptation of the British TV series "The Prisoner" for producer Scott Stuber at Universal.

The CAA-repped Nolan wrote the screenplays for "Memento," based on a short story written by his brother, Jonathan, and "Following," his debut feature in 1998. The only directing project he hasn't written is "Insomnia," his 2002 remake of the Norwegian thriller.

He and Jonathan (with story credit) earned Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for their "Memento" script, which won an Independent Spirit Award for best screenplay and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance in 2001. Their "Dark Knight" screenplay earned a WGA Award nomination this year for best adapted screenplay (with David S. Goyer).