Christopher Nolan Explains Why He Crashed a Real 747 for Tenet

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Christopher Nolan Explains Why He Crashed a Real 747 for Tenet

The best moment from the recent Tenet trailer was the brief shot we got of an enormous airplane crashing/exploding into a bunker. Naturally, that plane was indeed real and really crashing into a bunker, because, well, Christopher Nolan can do whatever he wants. However, the director insists there is a calculated reason for going with a real 747 and not models or CGI.

“I planned to do it using miniatures and set-piece builds and a combination of visual effects and all the rest,” Nolan revealed to Total Film. “We started to run the numbers… It became apparent that it would actually be more efficient to buy a real plane of the real size, and perform this sequence for real in camera, rather than build miniatures or go the CG route.”

Even Nolan felt it was a bit over-the-top.

“It’s a strange thing to talk about – a kind of impulse buying, I suppose,” Nolan said with a laugh. “But we kind of did, and it worked very well, with Scott Fisher, our special-effects supervisor, and Nathan Crowley, the production designer, figuring out how to pull off this big sequence in camera. It was a very exciting thing to be a part of.”

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Tenet will be an international espionage thriller filmed across seven countries. John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman) stars, with a supporting cast that includes Robert Pattinson (Good Time), Elizabeth Debicki (Widows), Dimple Kapadia (Fugly), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Michael Caine (The Dark Knight Rises) and Kenneth Branagh (Dunkirk).

The film is written by Nolan and will utilize a mixture of IMAX and 70mm film, which is something he’s become famous for.

The director first made an impact in 2001 with his indie film Memento. His next film, Insomnia, was also a modest hit. but it wasn’t until Batman Begins hit theaters in 2005 that Nolan became a box office force in his own right. The Prestige was Nolan’s last movie to gross under $200 million worldwide. His other films include The Dark KnightThe Dark Knight RisesInceptionInterstellar, and Dunkirk.

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Nolan is producing Tenet along with his partner Emma Thomas and is currently slated for a July 17 release.