The Unofficial Christopher Nolan Website / Movies / Insomnia


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Shots in the fog The Story:
Insomnia is the remake of the equally-named 1997 norwegian thriller:
Veteran police officer Will Dormer (played by Al Pacino) is sent from the city to a small Alaska town to investigate the murder of a teenage girl. While chasing a suspect (Robin Williams) through the fog, Dormer accidently kills his partner. Instead of admitting his guilt, Dormer is given an unexpected alibi. But despite this he is looked after by the local idealistic detective Ellie Bur (Hilary Swank) while he himself has to find the murderer (Robin Williams). But the murderer knows of Dormer's guilt and starts to blackmail him and forces the detective into a cat-and-mouse game.


Hillary Swank
  • 2002-05-25: Stacy Wilson has got footage (including a short interview with Christopher Nolan) from the L.A. Benefit Premiere which took place on May, 22.
  • 2002-05-24: New Interview & New Insomnia reviews
  • 2002-05-14: Insomnia Soundtrack news
  • 2002-05-02: 3 new Reviews for Insomnia
  • 2002-05-01: New Movie Stills
  • 2002-04-30: Q&A with Chris Nolan about Insomnia
  • 2002-04-19: Interview with Christopher Nolan
  • 2002-04-19: New & nice official Insomnia Flash-Website & Discussion Board
  • 2002-01-08: Interview with Erik SkjoldbjŠrg about the Insomnia-remake
  • 2001-11-20: Another review for Insomnia
  • 2001-10-20: Reviews from the first test screening!
  • 2001-03-04: Hillary Swank / Production Date
  • 2001-02-07: Al Pacino and Christopher Nolan on Insomnia
  • 2000-09-08: Insomnia starring Harrison Ford directed by Jonathan Demme?

  • DVD:

    The Insomnia DVD will be released on October, 15th in a version containing the original aspect ratio and one with a cropped fullscreen image.

    Pre-order Insomnia at

    DVD Special Features:
    * Commentary with director Chris Nolan
    * Commentary by Hilary Swank and filmmakers
    * "180 degrees: Christopher Nolan Interviews Al Pacino," an on-camera interview
    * "Day for Night" - the making of Insomnia
    * "In the Fog," an exploration of cinematography with director of photography Wally Pfsiter
    * "Eyes Wide Open," a featurette on insomnia the sleeping disorder
    * "From the Evidence Room," a gallery of theatrical posters, stills and production designs
    * Theatrical trailer
    * Additional/extended scene with optional commentary by Chris Nolan

    What I'm looking forward to the most (besides maybe the commentary) is Nolan's interview with Pacino and the documentary with Pfister.
    I just hope that the featurettes give real insight into making the movie and aren't the usual promo-material.


    Interviews with Pacino, Williams, Swank & Jackson has a video interview which consists of various clips from the movie and some short statements by the actors that unfortunately only have promotional value (mostly saying how great the other actors are...) The video is available as Real or Windows Media Video on or as a direct Quicktime download in both high- and low-quality versions.

    Q&A with Chris Nolan about Insomnia Electric Artists
    The full Q&A is available in the Interviews Section.
  • Why choose Insomnia for your follow up to Memento? What about the original appealed to you?
  • Was there a lot of pressure to follow up Memento with an original? Were people surprised you were making a remake?
  • Did you find that working with a much larger budget liberating or constricting in terms of having so many choices your third time as a director.
  • Did you have Al Pacino and Robin Williams in mind when you first started working on Insomnia?
  • Did Robin come to you with the project, or were you looking to cast someone against type?
  • How much of a role do you think guilt plays in the psyche driving the characters?
  • Robin Williams
  • Did you find it a challenge to get a such a dark feel from the film while shooting in daylight all the time? The juxtaposition of having everything being discovered in the daylight having such a dark feel.
  • What was it like shooting on location in Alaska. Did you have white nights?
  • How was directing Insomnia different than a story you have written? Is that what you want to do in the future?
  • Did you have to fight to get the same DP and editor as Memento to work on Insomnia?
  • Did Robin stay in character on set?
  • Did you encourage Al or Robin to see the original?
  • Whatĺs the longest you stayed up without sleeping?
  • As far casting Hillary, was there a conscious decision to have the female character in your version be a younger actress than the original?

  • Interview with Christopher Nolan by Garth Franklin of Dark Horizon
    About the pressure of following up Memento, the making of Insomnia it's narrative structure, about Insomnia being a remake, it's casting and it's ending (no spoiler) and Nolan's next project.


    For Insomnia reviews from around the globe click here

    The Soundtrack:

    Insomnia Soundtrack Front Cover Insomnia Soundtrack Rear Cover Release Date: May 14, 2002

    Composer: David Julyan

    Pre-order the Soundtrack at

    From VarŔse Sarabande, the Label that releases the Insomnia OST and describes the music as dark, foreboding and menacing, comes the official tracklisting:

    1. Opening Titles / Blood Drips (2:47)
    2. The Glacier (3:02)
    3. Kay's Theme (3:41)
    4. Kay's Bag (2:15)
    5. Fog (5:12)
    6. Will Hides The Gun (2:11)
    7. Call To Hap's Widow (3:43)
    8. Crimescene (2:23)
    9. The Dead Dog (3:30)
    10. Walter's Phone Call (3:22)
    11. Kay's Funeral (1:19)
    12. Walter's Apartment (3:36)
    13. Ellie's Theme (1:50)
    14. Will Confronts Walter (2:42)
    15. Will's Confession (2:33)
    16. Walter's Lake House (5:47)
    17. "Let Me Sleep" (2:42)
    18. Closing Titles (4:05)

    Until now there was very few information on the soundtrack other that the composer is once again Nolan's friend David Julyan. I expect this to be a complete score, and not a mix with some unrelated music like Memento's Soundtrack was.

    The only chance to hear some of the music is the trailer or the official website. The following short tracks should give you a feel of what the soundtrack will be like. Unfortunately they are of low quality. They are also partly mixed with dialogue, which they probably won't on the soundtrack. I'll also have to add that I don't know if these tracks will all be on the purchasable Soundtrack CD.
    I have removed these samples since the Soundtrack is available now.


    Photos from the set

    Movie Stills

    & Posters, CD covers, etc.

    Cast & Crew:

    Steven Soderbergh, acclaimed director himself and producer of Insomnia is apparently the one, who proposed that Christopher Nolan should direct Insomnia.

    In February various sources said, that Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank will star in Insomnia. So it seems that Williams tries to get cast for some 'darker' roles in the moment, like for One Hour Photo, too.

    Al Pacino..............Will Dormer
    Robin Williams.......Walter Finch
    Hilary Swank..........Ellie Burr
    Maura Tierney........Rachel
    Jonathan Jackson...Randy Stetz
    Martin Donovan.......Hap Eckhart
    Larry Holden...........Farrell
    Frank C. Turner.......Principal

    It's nice to see that Nolan was able to take some people from his previous films along to Insomnia, like David Julyan who had made the score for Memento and Following and also Oscar-nominated editor Dody Dorn & Director of Photography Wally Pfister, who both worked on Memento.

    Director...........Christopher Nolan
    Producers........Broderick Johnson
    .......................Andrew A. Kosove
    .......................Edward McDonnell
    .......................George Clooney (exc)
    .......................Charles J. D. Schlissel (exc)
    .......................Steven Soderbergh (exc)
    .......................Tony Thomas (exc)
    Writers.............Hilary Seitz
    .......................Nikolaj Frobenius
    .......................Erik SkjoldbjŠrg
    Editor...............Dody Dorn
    Director of
    Photography....Walter Pfister
    Costumes........Tish Monaghan
    Prod. Design....Nathan Crowley
    Music..............David Julyan

    Release dates
    Country Release Date
    USA 24 May 2002
    New Zealand 6 June 2002
    Iceland 16 August 2002
    Russia 16 August 2002
    Netherlands September 2002
    Norway 13 September 2002
    UK 27 September 2002
    Germany 17 October 2002
    France 6 November 2002

    The Original

    Click to enlarge
    Den som synder, sover ikke.

    Buy the DVD at

    Official Insomnia Website
    Official Discussion Board
    Insomnia at IMDb
    Al Pacino Fansite

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