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INSOMNIA

About The Production
Will Dormer is a good cop. A seasoned LAPD detective, Dormer has seen it all – murder, brutality, corruption – yet he remains unflinchingly committed to his mission: solving crimes and catching the criminals who commit them.

When his partner is killed during the course of a homicide investigation in a remote Alaskan town, a grieving Dormer is forced into a compromising relationship with the primary suspect, Walter Finch, that gradually undermines his judgment and threatens his psychological stability...and quite possibly his entire career.

"Dormer and Finch have a highly combustible relationship," notes Academy Award-winning actor Al Pacino, who portrays the deeply conflicted detective. "Finch is pushing and pulling and enjoying the chase. The question in the film is: How much will the audience identify with Dormer's predicament? The hope is that the audience will identify with Dormer, and think to themselves, ‘What if I had a subconscious wish and it came true?'"

In addition to combating Finch's mind games, Dormer faces an unexpected challenge presented by the unfamiliar environment. "Will Dormer arrives in this northern Alaskan town during Midnight Sun, when the sun literally does not set for twenty-four hours a day," director Christopher Nolan explains. "Like a lot of people who travel to this region, Dormer's body clock wreaks havoc on him and he's not able to sleep comfortably. As the story develops, he faces progressively intense psychological pressure that compounds his inability to sleep, and this begins to cloud his decision-making ability. His insomnia is a physical representation of the psychological struggle that becomes increasingly significant as the story progresses."

Originally presented in the 1997 Norwegian film Insomnia, this premise and the protagonist's unique predicament intrigued producers Paul Junger Witt and Ed McDonnell, who began developing an American version of the story with screenwriter Hillary Seitz. "Like Christopher Nolan, we loved the original film," Witt says, "but we viewed it as so culturally specific that we knew our version would not be a traditional remake or a literal translation."

After spending a year researching the fictional Alaskan town of Nightmute and carefully crafting the characters and story, Seitz delivered a draft that captured the attention of Alcon Entertainment co-founders and co-presidents Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson. "What initially attracted me to Hillary Seitz's screenplay was her subtle but evocative portrait of Will Dormer, a flawed character who is presented with a very real, compelling dilemma," Kosove says. "I was also intrigued by the duplicity of the film's title and the theme that light plays in the story."

Equally compelled by Seitz's script, Nolan screened Memento for the Insomnia producers and the Warner Bros. Pictures creative team, who were duly impressed by the young writer-director's meticulously assured storytelling and filmmaking. "From the time we saw Memento," says Witt, "there was only one director we wanted, and that was Christopher Nolan."

"Christopher's command over his vision for the material was very impressive," says producer Broderick Johnson. "His confidence that he can enact what he envisions and his ability to create a distinct visual style and really well-developed characters convinced us that he could bring to Insomnia the kind of originality and conviction that he demonstrated in Memento."

Memento, Nolan's stylish thriller about murder, memory loss and revenge, differs from Insomnia in terms of its structure. "

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