Christopher Nolan both wrote and directed Inception. In fact, he even did all of the shots himself. Unlike most high budget movies that hire additional shooting teams, Nolan was a part of every single shot.
Inception was undoubtedly an important movie for Nolan. He actually first had the idea of a movie about dream stealing in 2002. However, because he wanted to get more experience, he side barred it for a few years and decided to shift from the original horror-based content to a more heist-driven plot.
Nolan would continue to go back again and again for eight years after the script's inception (hey-o!). Eventually, he introduced the idea of dream sharing which, he says, allows for "an infinite number of alternative universes in which people can meaningfully interact, with validity, with weight, with dramatic consequences" (source).
He was also able to transcend the generally superficial heist genre and introduce an emotionally centered journey through the interior of the mind.
Our buddy Nolan is no stranger to playing mind games in his movies. In fact, his company Syncopy's name comes from the medical term "syncope," meaning a brief loss of consciousness. Nolan's previous film Memento also deals with a similar theme—the main character has anterograde amnesia and cannot form new memories.
Whatever project Nolan touches, he gives both a Hollywood flair and a deeper, intellectual exploration of whatever is on his mind (which is usually the mind… or grown men in bat costumes).