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 on camera.
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Jump to: Spoilers (12)
There was much secrecy surrounding the project before its release. Actor Robert Pattinson said that he was only allowed to read the script in a locked office at Warner Bros. studios. His co-star Michael Caine wasn't even allowed to read the entire screenplay. He was given his scenes only to read before shooting. Prior to the movie's release, Caine told press that he had no idea what the film was about, despite being a very close friend and a frequent collaborator of director Christopher Nolan.
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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 was named Tomas AREPO, the term TENET is the name of the organization that the Protagonist is recruited into, OPERA refers to the location of the opening scene, and then ROTAS is the name of the security company.
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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.
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When the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States in spring 2020, the film's score was roughly eighty-percent finished. The only thing it really affected was an orchestral session that was scheduled for April. As a result, part of the soundtrack was completed by putting together individual recordings of the musicians in their homes.
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Contains only 280 visual effects shots, less than most modern romantic comedies. This 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.
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In order to shoot the elaborate forward and reverse car chase sequence with very few or no visual effects, a team of twenty top drivers from California was assembled, who were later joined by experienced stunt drivers from Estonia, Prague, and the United Kingdom. The group included Jim Wilkey, who famously flipped the Joker truck some twelve years earlier in The Dark Knight (2008).
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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.
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Director Christopher Nolan is a huge fan of the James Bond films, and that love of the spy genre flows through this movie. That being said, Nolan actually tried his best not to watch any films that may overly influence him while working on Tenet - this was the longest the director had ever gone in his life without watching a Bond film. The reason for this is that 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.
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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."
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The shot of the building simultaneously imploding and exploding during the final temporal pincer battle scene was filmed almost entirely in-camera. The production team built some large-scale miniatures, two buildings that were 1/3 scale, then blew up the top of one and the bottom of the other. They matched the camera angles and then composited the shots together in post-production. Visual effects were only used to touch up the excess amount of dust made by one of the explosions.
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Although the movie is not meant to be scientifically accurate, it is based roughly on actual physics. Before filming began, director Christopher Nolan asked physicist Kip Thorne, who he'd previously worked with on Interstellar (2014), to read through the screenplay to help out with some of the concepts.
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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."
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This is the first Christopher Nolan film since The Prestige (2006) not to be scored by Hans Zimmer. The composer turned Nolan down for the first time in over a decade to score his longtime passion project Dune (2021). He was replaced by newcomer Ludwig Göransson, who had recently won an Oscar for his work on Black Panther (2018).
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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.
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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.
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Composer Ludwig Göransson incorporated director Christopher Nolan's own breathing as a part of the soundtrack used around Sir Kenneth Branagh's villainous character. The sound was achieved by Nolan breathing heavily into a microphone, and Göransson manipulating that into uncomfortable and raspy sounds.
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Robert Pattinson revealed that he did much of the stunt driving for the film, including one particular sequence shot in Estonia, 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 would result in the rig hitting the road.
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Though John David Washington (the Protagonist) 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 over a month after shooting some of the action scenes. He said: "There were some times I couldn't get up out of bed."
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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.
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One of writer and director Christopher Nolan's filmmaking traditions is to gather together his cast and crew before production begins and screen films 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. This is because he wanted the cast and crew to work from a feeling and memory of the spy genre, as opposed to trying to recreate it. This included the James Bond films.
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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.
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Utilized no green screens, just practical effects. This includes the inversion sequences, for which director Christopher Nolan chose instead to shoot every scene twice: one time with the actors moving forward, and once with them doing everything backwards.
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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.
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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.
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Director Christopher Nolan offered Robert Pattinson the role of Neil after watching him in Good Time (2017) and The Lost City of Z (2016) and being drawn to his performances.
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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.
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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.
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There were approximately 3,500 extras involved in the opening opera house sequence.
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The working title for the film was "Merry Go Round."
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John David Washington improvised his line "I ordered my hot sauce an hour ago."
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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.
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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.
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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.
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The opening sequence, which is set in an opera house in Kiev, is reminiscent of the 2002 Moscow Hostage Crisis. Just like in the film, the Dubrovka Theatre was seized by a group of armed rebels. Three days later, authorities pumped a powerful opiate into the building and rendered all unconscious, then began their rescue operation. Unfortunately, over 204 hostages died before they could be rescued, due to the toxic substance.
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The eighth film directed by Christopher Nolan to feature Michael Caine, including his voice cameo in Dunkirk (2017).
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The catamarans owned by Andrei Sator (Sir Kenneth Branagh) are F50 foiling catamarans and are used in the SailGP race series. They are the fastest racing class in history, able to reach speeds exceeding 50 knots, or more than 60 mph (90kmh).
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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.
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The third Christopher Nolan film to be shot by cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, after Interstellar (2014) and Dunkirk (2017).
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Although many film productions were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Christopher Nolan was able to finish post-production in more or less the same way he normally would. A rough cut of the film was completed before the lockdown came into place in the United States, and further editing was done 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 in the United Kingdom for years and is therefore used to corresponding remotely.
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Due to the extremely intense, dark nature of several of the scenes they shared, Kenneth Branagh and Elizabeth Debicki lightened the mood in between takes by playing a game in which they took turns singing famous songs they didn't know all the words to, and trying to fill in the missing lyrics. The pair revealed that while shooting the car chase sequence, Branagh sang a song from the musical 'Les Misérables', into which he ad-libbed lyrics of his own. This made Debicki laugh so hard that she tore the hem of her skirt.
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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.
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First Christopher Nolan film since Batman Begins (2005) not to be edited by Lee Smith, as he was unavailable due to scheduling conflicts with British war film 1917 (2019). Jennifer Lame was hired to replace him. Lame is best known for her work on smaller indie movies, such as Manchester by the Sea (2016) and Hereditary (2018).
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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.
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The film was originally scheduled to be released on 17 July 2020, a lucky date for director Christopher Nolan. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic the release was postponed several times. Warner Bros. eventually decided to release the movie internationally on 26 August, before debuting it in the United States on 3 September.
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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.
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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.
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Although a crucial sequence taking place on Sator (Kenneth Branagh)'s yacht is set in the waters off the coast of Vietnam, the filmmakers knew that it would be highly impractical to sail the expensive superyacht to Southeast Asia. Instead, they had the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy double as the country.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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First large-scale film since Stalker (1979) to be shot in Tallinn, Estonia.
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Principal photography took place across seven countries: Denmark, Estonia, India, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Shooting began in May 2019 in the United States and lasted for almost six months, wrapping in mid-November.
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The climactic battle sequence was shot in three separate locations in California. Exteriors were filmed at a now-defunct iron ore mine in the modern-day desert ghost town of Eagle Mountain, whilst 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.
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Kumu Art Museum in Tallinn, Estonia doubled as the fictional "Oslo Freeport."
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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.
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Sir Kenneth Branagh revealed that naysayers insisted director Christopher Nolan wouldn't be able to finish the film due to the coronavirus lockdown. However, the director persisted with post-production, reducing the mixing room's team of technicians from eleven to five, and wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
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Indian actress Dimple Kapadia's first Hollywood role.
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Exterior shooting of the final battle sequence took place in the desert ghost town of Eagle Mountain, California. The location had a core grouping of existing structures that could be converted into old apartment buildings which were needed for the sequence, and then the production team also constructed a number of full-sized buildings. In addition to this, the team built large-scale models and used forced perspective to make the already immense set seem even more vast.
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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 a Nolan movie.
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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.
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Director Christopher Nolan cited the film To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) as one inspiration for the elaborate car chase sequence, mainly the way the camera sits with the characters and takes the audience through the chase.
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The club where the Protagonist (John David Washington) meets British Intelligence agent Michael Crosby (Sir 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.
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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.
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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.
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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."
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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).
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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.
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The plane crash sequence was shot at the airport in Victorville, California, located at the southwestern edge of the Mojave Desert.
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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.
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To ensure proficiency in handling firearms, John David Washington and Robert Pattinson attended the Taran Tactical firing range in Simi Valley.
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Robert Pattinson received the news that he'd been cast as Bruce Wayne in The Batman (2022) 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).
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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.
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A terminal at Los Angeles International Airport stood in for the Oslo Airport terminal.
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First major studio film to be released theatrically during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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The film's title is a palindrome: a word that reads the same backwards as forwards.
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Kenneth Branagh (Sator) directed John David Washington's father, Denzel Washington, in Much Ado About Nothing (1993). He also directed co-star Michael Caine in Sleuth (2007).
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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).
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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.
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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).
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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.
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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).
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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).
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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.
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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 (2022).
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Elizabeth Debicki (Kat), Martin Donovan (Fay), and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Ives) have all appeared in Marvel films. Debicki was in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Donovan was in Ant-Man (2015), and Taylor-Johnson played the role of Pietro Maximoff in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Additionally, Sir Kenneth Branagh (Sator) directed Thor (2011), another Marvel film.
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Both Himesh Patel (Mahir) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Ives) have starred in movies about the Beatles: the former in Yesterday (2019) and the latter in Nowhere Boy (2009).
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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).
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Marks costume designer Jeffrey Kurland's third time working on a Christopher Nolan film, after Inception (2010) and Dunkirk (2017).
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Martin Donovan's second collaboration with director Christopher Nolan. They'd previously worked together on Insomnia (2002).
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The vodka that Kat and Sator are having on his yacht towards the end of the movie is the exquisite Beluga Transatlantic Racing limited edition.
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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, by which bodies of light traveling away from the Earth appear red as the light waves are stretched outwards (red shift), and bodies of light traveling towards the Earth appear blue as the light waves are compressed together (blue shift).
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In addition to performing stunts backwards, the main cast actually learned how to speak in reverse for their roles. Sir Kenneth Branagh not only learned how to speak backwards, but also had to do it with a Russian accent, as he is Northern Irish in real life.
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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.
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In the climactic battle scene, the military is split into two teams: a red team that moves forwards 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.
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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).
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Towards the end of the movie, Kat makes a spectacular dive to escape from Sator's yacht. The 55-foot leap presented a range of potential safety issues, so stunt coordinator George Cottle decided that it would be ill-advised to train Elizabeth Debicki (Kat) to complete the jump herself. Cottle contacted the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series organization and was directed to female diver Jessica Macaulay, who agreed to take the plunge.
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During the climactic battle scene, the red team and blue team both have ten minutes to complete the final mission. TEN forward and TEN backward makes TENET.
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The British theatrical version was cut by nine seconds to secure the desired "12A" rating. This included shots of Sator kicking his estranged wife, Kat (Elizabeth Debicki).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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