He received serious notice after his second feature Memento (2000), which he wrote and directed based on a story idea by his brother, Jonathan Nolan. Jonathan went to co-write later scripts with him, including the Batman series and The Prestige. He also first collaborated with Wally Pfister, who would photograph all his subsequent films. After directing Insomnia (2002), Nolan pitched an idea for a reboot of the Batman film franchise to Warner Bros., eventually making a successful trilogy consisting of Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
Inception (2010) was based on an original screenplay by Nolan, a heist film set in the world of “shared dreaming.” Following the success of Inception, Nolan became the second most commercially successful British director since 2001, confirmed by the UK Film Council in their 2011 Statistical Yearbook. Nolan co-founded Syncopy Films with his wife, Emma Thomas, and they have produced all his films since The Prestige (2006).
Nolan has also worked with screenwriter David S. Goyer, film editor Lee Smith, composers David Julyan and Hans Zimmer, special effects coordinator Chris Corbould, and actors Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Cillian Murphy, Jeremy Theobald, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.
Nolan spent his childhood in England and the United States, and later studied English literature at University College London, which he chose specifically for its film-making facilities. There he made a series of short films in the college film society, and met the friends with whom he would later make Following (1998), his independent début feature.