Tenet Movie (2020) Interesting Facts, Mistakes

Tenet Movie Story Summary

Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.

Tenet Movie Stars

John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki

Tenet Movie Storyline

In a twilight world of international espionage, an unnamed CIA operative, known as The Protagonist, is recruited by a mysterious organization called Tenet to participate in a global assignment that unfolds beyond real time. The mission: prevent Andrei Sator, a renegade Russian oligarch with precognition abilities, from starting World War III. The Protagonist will soon master the art of "time inversion" as a way of countering the threat that is to come.

Tenet Movie Mistakes

  • Inside the shipping container as they travel through inverted time, Neil takes his surgical gloves off twice and throws them into the trash bin.
  • When Barbara is explaining to the Protagonist that he's not shooting a bullet but is instead catching it, he catches the bullet with his gun and the bullet goes into the magazine when it should go into the chamber, since there is only one bullet and the Protagonist does not rack the slide backwards.
  • While Neil and the Protagonist are trying to get into the Freeport in Oslo with injured Kat, the explosion from the aircraft's engine appears to push the Protagonist into the building in inverted time. However, it is actually the engine reforming that causes this, as in non-inverted time the engine is sucking air in, meaning it is suddenly blowing air towards the Protagonist in inverse-time.
  • At the beginning of the movie, the Protagonist sees an inverted bullet fly backwards through a person in real-time, causing damage in real-time. Later, he sees an inverted bullet fly backwards through a glass window and "heal" it in real-time, meaning it caused damage retroactively. This is contradictory and they cannot do both. Unless the glass is also inverted, this scene breaks the movie's own rules about reverse-entropy.
  • During the Oslo fight scene, the Protagonist kicks the gun away with his foot. This gun is inverted since it flew into the inverted agent's hand (effect before cause.) Thus, the Protagonist should not be able to kick the gun away (cause before effect)
  • It is established that going backwards requires an external breathing apparatus, but Kat does not wear one at any point while on the boat with Andrei. However, this is because she only went backwards in time while in the shipping container, and on the yacht she was going forwards again after "reversing" in Oslo.
  • When the gold bricks fall onto the tarmac, several of them bounce quite high in the air, showing that they are props, probably hollow and made of steel coated with a yellow metal such as brass. Real gold is very dense and very soft; a gold bar dropped from a height would not bounce.
  • When the Protagonist inverts himself and drives the Saab, he initially drives it in reverse-gear to go forward. A moment later the car slows down and the tires roll forward, which means he is driving normally.
  • The aircraft used for the crash scene carries a fictitious name Norskfreight and registration number LN-WTJK. The aircraft purchased for the film was a former Cathay Pacific 747-200 with registration number B-HMD. However, although the fuselage registration number was changed the nose wheel flap was not repainted to match the new registration and still has the letters MD clearly visible.

Tenet Movie Interesting Facts

  • Composer Ludwig Göransson was about to begin orchestral sessions for the film's score when the United States shut down to slow the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, the soundtrack was completed by putting together individual recordings of the musicians in their homes.
  • In addition to performing stunts backwards, the main cast actually learned how to speak in reverse for their roles. Kenneth Branagh not only had to learn to speak backwards, but also had to do it with a Russian accent (he is Northern Irish in real life).
  • There was much secrecy surrounding the project before its release. Robert Pattinson told USA Today that he was only allowed to read the script in a locked room at Warner Bros. studios. His co-star Michael Caine wasn't even allowed to read the entire screenplay. He was only given his scenes to read before shooting. Prior to the film's release, Caine told press that he had no idea what the movie was about, despite being a close friend and a frequent collaborator of director Christopher Nolan.
  • Shooting for the car chase sequence lasted three weeks and required the crew to close off eight kilometers (almost five miles) of a six-lane highway down the center of Tallinn. They then shot the cars moving both forward and in reverse.
  • The production team purchased and then crashed a real 747 airplane into a hangar. The stunt was all practical effects, with no visual effects or CGI. Director Christopher Nolan had originally planned to use miniatures and set-piece builds, however, while scouting for locations in Victorville, California, the team discovered a massive array of old planes and it became apparent that it would actually be more efficient to buy a real plane of the real size, and perform the sequence for real in camera.
  • The word 'Tenet' presumably originated from the Sator Square - a word square containing a five-word Latin palindrome that dates back to the ruins of Pompeii. The puzzle is a five-by-five square made up of five 5-letter words written in five lines: SATOR, AREPO, TENET, OPERA, and ROTAS. In every direction the square is rotated, these five words appear both horizontally and vertically - a property that fits the time inversion feature of the film. It is also notable that all five words appear in the film: Kenneth Branagh's character is named Andrei SATOR, the forger responsible for the painting and Kat (Elizabeth Debicki)'s former lover is named Laurence AREPO, the term TENET is the name of the organization that the Protagonist is recruited into, and ROTAS is the name of the security company.
  • Has only 280 VFX shots, less than most romantic comedies. This number is also low for director Christopher Nolan himself. The Dark Knight (2008) featured 650 VFX shots, The Dark Knight Rises (2012) had 450, Inception (2010) around 500, and Dunkirk (2017) contained only 429 visual effects shots.
  • Actor Kenneth Branagh revealed that he read the screenplay for the film more times than anything he had ever worked on. He compared navigating through the script to doing the 'Times' crossword puzzle every single day.
  • Robert Pattinson stated that he took inspiration for his character's accent, intonation, and mannerisms from English-American author and journalist Christopher Hitchens. Pattinson never uses his real London accent when playing British characters, saying: "For whatever reason, it feels fake to me when I'm using my own accent for a role - if I just play myself on screen, I feel like a fraud."
  • Director Christopher Nolan is a huge fan of the James Bond movies, and that love of the spy genre flows through Tenet (2020). That being said, Nolan tried his best not to watch any movies that may overtly influence him while working on Tenet - this was the longest period of time the director had ever gone in his life without watching a Bond film. This is because he wanted to work from a memory and a feeling of that genre. He wasn't trying to do his own version of a James Bond movie, but was instead attempting to create the excitement that many people felt watching the Bond films when they were kids.
  • After being offered the lead role in the film, John David Washington read the screenplay in director Christopher Nolan's locked office at Warner Bros. studios. It took him around five hours to finish reading it because he kept flipping back and forth "in pure amazement."
  • In order to shoot the elaborate forward and reverse car chase sequence with no visual effects, a team of twenty top drivers from Los Angeles was assembled, who were later joined by experienced stunt drivers from Estonia, Prague, and Great Britain. The team included Jim Wilkey, who famously flipped the Joker truck in The Dark Knight (2008).
  • Composer Ludwig Göransson incorporated Christopher Nolan's own breathing as part of the score used around Kenneth Branagh's villainous character. The sound was achieved with Nolan breathing very heavily into a microphone, and Göransson manipulating it into uncomfortable and raspy sounds.
  • Had a production budget of USD $205 million, making it director Christopher Nolan's most expensive original film and one of the most expensive original films in history when it was first released. The film was not based on any previously existing material.
  • Though the film is not meant to be scientifically accurate, it is based roughly on actual science. Before shooting began, director Christopher Nolan asked physicist Kip Thorne, whom he'd previously worked with on Interstellar (2014), to read through the script to help out with some of the concepts.
  • The initial meeting between director Christopher Nolan and Robert Pattinson lasted three hours. Pattinson explained that by the end of the meeting he had a massive blood sugar drop because they had been talking so much and he had been concentrating so hard. He asked Nolan for a chocolate that was on the table in front of them, and then the director immediately ended the meeting. Pattinson thought that he had ruined his opportunity to have a part in the film.
  • First Christopher Nolan film since The Prestige (2006) not to be scored by Hans Zimmer. Zimmer turned Nolan down for the first time in over a decade due to scheduling conflicts with scoring his longtime passion project Dune (2020). He was replaced with newcomer Ludwig Göransson, who had recently won an Oscar for his work on Black Panther (2018). Zimmer is friends with Göransson and had suggested him to Nolan.
  • Actor Robert Pattinson originally thought that he wouldn't have to do any stunt driving for the film, as he only did one day of training. However, he ended up doing tons and tons of driving, including for the elaborate car chase sequence filmed in Estonia.
  • Though John David Washington is more athletic than your average actor - he once held his college's single-season rushing record and even took a shot at the NFL - filming was so relentless that he couldn't run for a month after shooting some of the action scenes. He said: "There were some times I couldn't get up out of bed."
  • For reasons of both safety and control, the jet used during the plane crash sequence was not allowed to taxi under its own power. Stuntman Jim Wilkey had to take classes to earn a specialized license, then he was able to drive the tow vehicle that pulled the plane down the runway, before it veered off; a cable system took over after this, in order to guide the actual impact. It took several weeks of prepping, before the cast arrived, to work out this system and to get the timing just right.
  • About 1.6 million feet of IMAX footage was shot for the film, breaking director Christopher Nolan's own record. Director of photography Hoyte Van Hoytema suspects that they shot more on the format than any film has before.
  • Robert Pattinson revealed that he did much of the stunt driving for the film, including one particular sequence where he and John David Washington were in a BMW with an IMAX camera rigged to the hood. This meant that he could scarcely see anything through the windscreen and a slight turn left or right would result in the rig hitting the road.
  • The working title for the film was "Merry Go Round."
  • Director Christopher Nolan offered Robert Pattinson the role of Neil after watching him in Good Time (2017) and The Lost City of Z (2016).
  • One of director Christopher Nolan's filmmaking traditions is to gather his cast and crew together before production begins and screen movies that served as inspiration to the project they're working on together. For this film, however, Nolan intentionally broke his longstanding tradition and didn't host any screenings. He wanted the cast and crew to work from a feeling and memory of the spy genre (including the James Bond films), as opposed to trying to recreate them.
  • Elizabeth Debicki insisted on auditioning for her role, despite director Christopher Nolan offering her the part without one. It was important to her to know that she could do what he was looking for, and according to the director she came in and blew everyone away.
  • Custom equipment and lenses were made for the film, that allowed IMAX cameras to be used more heavily. For instance, a custom camera head was built for the film, that would fit within a car and let an IMAX camera be turned around 360 degrees. Lenses were also constructed that would allow the filmmakers to shoot in lower-light situations, something that is traditionally limited when shooting with IMAX cameras.
  • There are images and things in the film that director Christopher Nolan had been thinking about for at least 20 years before actually making the movie. He worked on the specifics of the film and the screenplay for about six years.
  • The eighth film directed by Christopher Nolan to feature Michael Caine, including his voice cameo in Dunkirk (2017).
  • The scene taking place at the opera house in Kiev was actually shot in Tallinn, Estonia at Linnahall - a venue that was originally constructed for the 1980 Moscow Olympics when Estonia was part of the former Soviet Union. The building hadn't been maintained for at least ten years, so production designer Nathan Crowley and his team had lots of work to do before shooting began. They rebuilt the stage, polished the concrete, and also rebuilt some of the outside walls. Additionally, they had to repair the doors and replace a large amount of glass, and deal with the audience seating and carpets.
  • The third Christopher Nolan film to be shot by cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, after Interstellar (2014) and Dunkirk (2017).
  • After the script was complete, the first call director Christopher Nolan and producer Emma Thomas made was to casting director John Papsidera, with whom they have worked since Nolan's second feature film, Memento (2000). They met and began trading ideas, creating a long list of potential candidates. Specifically, they began "playing with leading men, and using them in different ways." The intent was to cast major actors in smaller roles around the Protagonist - actors who would normally be expected to play the lead.
  • The catamarans owned by Andrei Sator (Kenneth Branagh) are F50 foiling catamarans used in the SailGP race series. They are the fastest racing class in history, with speeds exceeding 50 knots, or more than 60 mph.
  • First Christopher Nolan since Batman Begins (2005) not to be edited by Lee Smith, as he was unavailable due to scheduling conflicts with British war movie 1917 (2019). Jennifer Lame was hired to replace him. Lame is best known for her work on smaller independent films such as Manchester by the Sea (2016) and Hereditary (2018).
  • Although many film productions were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Christopher Nolan was able to complete post-production in more or less the same way he normally would. A rough cut of the film was finished before the lockdown came into place, and further editing was completed in Nolan's edit suite in his Los Angeles home, where he's worked on his films since The Dark Knight (2008). It also helped that, though based in California, Nolan has used visual effects house Double Negative London for years and therefore is used to corresponding remotely.
  • The movie was originally slated to be released on 17 July 2020, a lucky date for director Christopher Nolan. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic it was postponed several times. Warner Bros. eventually decided to release the film internationally on 26 August, before debuting it in the United States on 3 September.
  • Kumu Art Museum in Tallinn, Estonia doubled as the fictional "Oslo Freeport."
  • Director Christopher Nolan offered John David Washington the lead role of the Protagonist after seeing him in the HBO comedy-drama series Ballers (2015) and attending the world premiere of BlacKkKlansman (2018) at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
  • A six-minute prologue was shown at select IMAX theaters before IMAX screenings of Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (2019). It included a slightly shortened version of the opening sequence of the movie, followed by a sizzle reel. Beginning with The Dark Knight (2008), all of director Christopher Nolan's films have released an IMAX prologue or extended footage months before their theatrical openings. Aside from Interstellar (2014), all of these prologues debuted in front of December studio tentpoles like Star Wars.
  • Director Christopher Nolan's eleventh feature film and his fifth (following The Dark Knight (2008), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Interstellar (2014) and Dunkirk (2017)) to be shot partially on and released in 70mm IMAX.
  • Part of the character Kat was reconceived specifically for Elizabeth Debicki. The role was initially written as older, but producer Emma Thomas had seen Debicki in Widows (2018) and was so struck by her performance that she asked her husband and the film's director Christopher Nolan to see it especially for her. Kat was then rewritten with Debicki in mind.
  • The luxury superyacht seen in the film, which is home to Andrei Sator (Kenneth Branagh), is known in real life as the Planet Nine. Measuring just over 240 feet long, it has six decks and its own helicopter pad.
  • In order to achieve certain in-camera effects, IMAX worked with the filmmakers to rebuild mechanics and electronics in their cameras to enable them to shoot both backwards and forwards. The production also utilized the latest generation of what are called "blimps" - sound-reducing housings for the notoriously noisy cameras - which allowed more scenes to be shot using the format.
  • Composer Ludwig Göransson began working on the score for the film five months before cameras rolled, enabling the score to be assembled in tandem with the film.
  • The opening scene set in a east European opera house (Kiev), which is stormed by masked intruders, who, along with all the audience are gassed to sleep / unconsciousness, is reminiscent of the true development of the 2002 Moscow Dubrovka theatre Chechen rebels siege, which ended three days later when all within were rendered unconscious by a "powerful opiate pumped into the auditorium [which, afterwards] .. fireman and police officers carried the slumped bodies of theatergoers .. in their evening dress .. [of whom] scores of the hostages had [already] suffocated [and/or by] swallowed their tongues." [Source: Heidi Blake as reported in 'From Russia with Blood'; 2019]
  • First large-scale film since Stalker (1979) to be shot in Tallinn, Estonia.
  • The terrace atop a vertiginous cliff where the Protagonist (John David Washington) meets with Kat (Elizabeth Debicki) is real, not green-screen. It is the Infinity Terrace at the Villa Cimbrone in Ravello on the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
  • Although crucial scenes on Sator (Kenneth Branagh)'s yacht are set in the waters off the coast of Vietnam, the filmmakers knew that it would be impractical to sail the expensive superyacht to Southeast Asia. Instead, they allowed the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy to double as the country.
  • Kenneth Branagh revealed that naysayers insisted Christopher Nolan wouldn't be able to complete the film due to the coronavirus lockdown. However, the director persisted with post-production by reducing the mixing room's team of technicians from eleven down to five, and by wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
  • The story is grounded in credible physics, with the notion of inverting time having to do with the law of entropy (or second law of thermodynamics), which states that all things trend toward disorder.
  • Principal photography took place across seven countries: Denmark, Estonia, India, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Filming began in May 2019 in the United States and lasted for almost six months, wrapping in mid-November.
  • Indian actress Dimple Kapadia's first Hollywood role.
  • The Warner Bros. and Syncopy logos are shaded red and blue, respectively. These are the colors used in the film to represent normal and inverted time.
  • A 40-second long surprise teaser trailer was shown in select United States cinemas before IMAX screenings of Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) starting on the first of August 2019. Filming had begun in May 2019 and would not wrap until that November.
  • First major studio film to be released during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Director Christopher Nolan cited To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) as an inspiration for the car chase sequence, namely the way the camera sits with the characters and takes the audience through the chase.
  • The song that plays over the closing credits is called "The Plan" and was written by Travis Scott, composer Ludwig Göransson, and Wonda Gurl specifically for the movie. It marks a first for both Scott and director Christopher Nolan, it being the former's first original solo song for a motion picture and Nolan's first time using a rap or hip-hop song in one of his films; it is also the first time a song was composed specifically for one of his movies.
  • Upon finding out that Elizabeth Debicki (who plays Kat) had been cast, costume designer Jeffrey Kurland immediately suggested to Christopher Nolan that they take advantage of her height, because "she's never gonna be shorter than anybody onscreen." Kurland put the already six-foot-three actress in heels for many of her scenes, gave her longer skirts so you could see the length of her legs, and cut her suits to enforce her linear quality.
  • The climactic battle scene was filmed in three separate locations in California. Exteriors were shot at a now-defunct iron ore mine in the modern-day desert ghost town of Eagle Mountain, while the interiors of the sequence were done on Stage 16 at Warner Bros. as well as inside a shut-down mall in the city of Hawthorne.
  • With an estimated production budget of USD $205 million, this is the most expensive film ever made to have a person of color as the solo lead.
  • The film's title is a palindrome: a word that reads the same backwards as forwards.
  • The scene taking place on the white expanse of marble and granite where the Protagonist (John David Washington) explains to Neil (Robert Pattinson) the enormity of their mission was shot on the roof of the Oslo Opera House in Norway. The roof is actually accessible in real life; it slopes gently upward from ground level, creating a large plaza from which one can enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
  • Robert Pattinson received the news that he'd been cast as Bruce Wayne in The Batman (2021) on his first day on set shooting this movie. This is an interesting coincidence, as director Christopher Nolan previously made three Batman films: Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), and The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
  • Four "turnstiles" were constructed for the film, each with its own unique design and able to move and articulate; some of them were even large enough to take cars into. One was built in a warehouse in Estonia; two (and the biggest) were made in a shut-down mall in Hawthorne, California; and the fourth was built on Stage 23 at Warner Bros.
  • Kenneth Branagh's second time working with Christopher Nolan after Dunkirk (2017).
  • The three main male characters wear suits for most of the film, so in order to differentiate between them and give them very different looks, costume designer Jeffrey Kurland used a different tailor for each of them, who he knew would cut the suits in unique ways.
  • Exterior filming for the final battle sequence took place in the desert ghost town of Eagle Mountain, California. The location had a core batch of existing structures that could be twisted into old apartment buildings which were needed for the sequence, and then the production team also constructed a number of full-size buildings. In addition to this, the team built large-scale models and incorporated forced perspective to make the already immense set seem even more vast.
  • Contains no green screens, just practical effects. This includes the inversion sequences, for which director Christopher Nolan chose instead to shoot each scene twice: one time moving forward, and once with the actors doing everything backwards.
  • The club where the Protagonist (John David Washington) meets British Intelligence agent Sir Michael Crosby (Michael Caine) is the Reform Club in London. It previously featured in two Bond films - Die Another Day (2002) as the 'Blades' club and then several years later in Quantum of Solace (2008) as a government office.
  • To ensure proficiency in handling firearms, John David Washington and Robert Pattinson attended the Taran Tactical firing range in Simi Valley.
  • The title was originally stylized with the last two letters inverted, fitting the main concept of the film. Despite director Christopher Nolan having designed the logo himself six years prior to the movie's release, the title treatment was later altered due to it being similar to that of a bicycle manufacturer's logo. After being shown it by Warner Bros., Nolan wrote a letter to the owner of the company saying that he would stop using the logo if the owner felt it was necessary.
  • When casting for the female lead, director Christopher Nolan nearly passed on Elizabeth Debicki because he thought that she was an American. He was looking for a very British characterization, and after seeing her in Widows (2018) he was convinced that she was from the States. So when his wife and producing partner Emma Thomas suggested the actress, she had to inform him that Debicki wasn't American (she is Australian).
  • The plane crash sequence was shot at the airport in Victorville, California, located at the southwestern edge of the Mojave Desert.
  • Kenneth Branagh directed John David Washington's father, Denzel Washington, in Much Ado About Nothing (1993). He also directed co-star Michael Caine in Sleuth (2007).
  • A terminal at Los Angeles International Airport stood in for the Oslo Airport terminal.
  • This is the second time Robert Pattinson and Clémence Poésy have worked together. They previously acted opposite each other in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) fifteen years earlier. Interestingly, Kenneth Branagh (Sator) also appeared in a Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002).
  • Actor Jeremy Theobald appears briefly as a steward in the restaurant scene with Michael Caine. He previously had a starring role in director Christopher Nolan's Following (1998), as well as a small role in Batman Begins (2005). Moreover, he appeared in Nolan's short films Larceny (1996) and Doodlebug (1997).
  • After his wife and producing partner Emma Thomas suggested Elizabeth Debicki for the female lead, director Christopher Nolan went back and rewatched her work in The Great Gatsby (2013), The Night Manager (2016), and Widows (2018).
  • The Protagonist (John David Washington) first meets Neil (Robert Pattinson) in the Royal Bombay Yacht Club, a private club at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Marg, near the famous Gateway of India. Opened in 1881, to this day it remains members-only.
  • Martin Donovan's second collaboration with director Christopher Nolan. They'd previously worked together on Insomnia (2002).
  • John David Washington improvised his line "I ordered my hot sauce an hour ago."
  • The second full-length trailer premiered on the video game Fortnite on 21 May 2020, as cinemas around the world were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Costume designer Jeffrey Kurland read the script for the film six times before he even sat down with Christopher Nolan to speak about the characters and how he physically wanted to present them onscreen.
  • Tailoring on Elizabeth Debicki's costumes was intentionally reminiscent of the late forties and early fifties, but with modern elements mixed in to maintain the period. Her clothing was meant to be simultaneously conservative and stylish, portraying both her character's vulnerability and, according to designer Jeffrey Kurland, the fact that she is "not opening up to anyone and is very closed, very within herself."
  • Cannon Hall School, where the Protagonist (John David Washington) first scopes out Kat (Elizabeth Debicki) as she meets her son Max wasn't actually filmed at a school, but was instead shot at a mansion known as Cannon Hall in Hampstead. The place was once the home of actor-manager Gerald du Maurier. It had previously appeared on-screen as the house of Keir Dullea in Otto Preminger's dark comedy Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965).
  • The scene taking place at Shipley's Auction House was actually filmed at National Liberal Club in London. It was previously seen in The Elephant Man (1980), Highlander (1986), Brazil (1985), and Trance (2013), among other productions. It also supplied the exterior of the London entrance to the 'Sanctum Sanctorum' in Doctor Strange (2016).
  • The scene where the Protagonist (John David Washington) is being tortured in the middle of a freight rail yard was filmed at Telliskivi Creative City in Tallinn, Estonia, on the border of Tallinn's Old Town and Kalamaja District.
  • Ingenuity is required to get into the penthouse of the arms dealer Priya (Dimple Kapadia), which is atop Neelam Shree Vardhan Tower on Bhulabhai Desai Road (formerly known as the old Warden Road) in Oomer Park. It's located in an area called Breach Candy, a newly developed up-market residential and commercial locality in South Mumbai.
  • Sir Michael Crosby (Michael Caine) tells the Protagonist (John David Washington) during their meeting at the restaurant that he can recommend a tailor. This is a possible nod to the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), in which Caine plays the head of a spy agency whose front is a high-end tailor shop.
  • Due to the secrecy surrounding the film before its release, some fans speculated that this was actually a Green Lantern Corps film in disguise, with John David Washington starring as John Stewart, Robert Pattinson as Hal Jordan, and Elizabeth Debicki as Carol Ferris. Of course, this later proved not to be the case, though Pattinson did end up joining the DC Cinematic Universe as Bruce Wayne in The Batman (2021).
  • Over a hundred watercraft were recruited, together with the catamarans, the megayacht, icebreakers, speed and fishing boats, and a cargo tanker. The windfarm vessel named the Iceni Revenge stayed with the production through filming in Estonia, Italy, and Norway, which lasted approximately three months.
  • Part of the score features Christopher Nolan's own breathing, which was then manipulated into raspy sounds. Though the music was composed by Ludwig Göransson, this could be a nod to director Stanley Kubrick - one of Nolan's favorite directors and a major influence in his filmmaking. Kubrick had dubbed his breathing for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), for the scene where Dave goes out into space.
  • Michael Caine and Clémence Poésy previously worked together on Last Love (2013).
  • Marks costume designer Jeffrey Kurland's third time working on a Christopher Nolan film, after Inception (2010) and Dunkirk (2017).
  • Both Himesh Patel (Mahir) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Ives) have starred in films relating to the Beatles: the former in Yesterday (2019) and the latter in Nowhere Boy (2009).
  • Released in the United States on a Thursday, rather than the traditional Friday or Wednesday release date for theatrically released films.
  • TENET has an overwhelmingly maximised sound mix, making it difficult for people to hear the often muffled dialogue. In Australia many cinemas are showing TENET with English Language Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, i.e. Audio Described English Language Subtitles - Closed Captioning (CC).
  • Throughout the film, the color red is used to indicate time going forward and blue is used to indicate a time inversion. This is a reference to the Doppler effect, whereby bodies of light traveling away from the Earth appear red as the light waves are stretched outward (red shift), and bodies of light traveling towards the Earth appear blue as the light waves are compressed together (blue shift).
  • In the climactic battle scene, the military is split into two teams: a red team that moves forward in time and a blue team that is inverted and moves backwards. Whenever the focus is on the blue (inverted) team, the score changes to include a short motif which is also played backwards. This is reminiscent of the Inception (2010) soundtrack, wherein the main motif was based on a greatly slowed down version of the French song "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien," to represent the apparent slowing of time when dreaming.
  • Apart from several of the film's lead actors, the final battle sequence involved the entire stunt team and hundreds of extras. Given the demands of the action, as well as the very hot temperatures, there was one pre-requisite for the background players - they were all required to be ex-military. This was put into place because the stunt team knew that the extras were going to be in full military fatigues with guns and gear for ten plus hours per day, in the desert heat. Adding to the task, they'd be running over a hilly terrain, littered with rocks and concrete, with carefully placed detonations going off all around them.
  • Strictly speaking, this film is not about time travel in the usual sense: that concept implies that one can go back to any random point in the past, be it ten minutes or ten years, with the same effort. This film uses the concept of reversing the flow of time, meaning that for the characters to go back ten days in time to a specific event, they must spend ten days in reverse time to end up there. Contrary to what one may think, this is not the first film to use this idea: the concept was also used in Primer (2004).
  • During the climactic battle scene, the red team and blue team both have ten minutes to complete the final mission. TEN forwards and TEN backwards makes TENET.
  • The British theatrical version was cut by nine seconds to secure the desired "12A" rating. This included shots of a woman being kicked by a man.
  • There are similarities between Elizabeth Debicki's role as Kat in this film and her role as Jed in The Night Manager (2016). In both productions, her character is in a relationship with a rich arms dealer whom she doesn't love but has to stay with out of fear of losing her son. Furthermore, in this film as well as the limited series, the protagonist uses her character to get information about her husband or lover.
  • Shares similar themes with director Christopher Nolan's earlier film Interstellar (2014). In both, people can communicate across time and are attempting to find an alternate future for a doomed planet. However, in Interstellar the protagonists are provided help from the future, whereas in this film future humans communicate with Sator (Kenneth Branagh) so that they can destroy the past and thus save the future.
  • In Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014), actor Kenneth Branagh plays a Russian who wants to destroy the world by means of a global economy collapse. In this film, Branagh plays a Russian who wants to destroy the world by means of a global time collapse.
  • The code phrase: 'We live in a twilight world' is used several times during the film. It is a humorous coincidence that Robert Pattinson (who plays Neil) is best known for his role in the teenage vampire movie Twilight (2008).

Useful External Links

Tenet (Movie) on Wikipedia
Tenet (Movie) on IMDB

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