Tenet (film)

Tenet is an upcoming spy film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. It is a co-production between the United Kingdom and United States, and stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh.
Nolan took more than five years to write the screenplay after deliberating about Tenets central ideas for over a decade. Casting began in March 2019, and principal photography took place in Denmark, Estonia, India, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, and United States, starting in May 2019. Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema shot on 70 mm and IMAX.
Delayed three times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tenet is scheduled to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures in the United Kingdom on August 26, 2020, and the United States on September 3, 2020, in IMAX, 35 mm, and 70 mm.


An operative of the organization known as Tenet is tasked with preventing World War III.




Writer and director Christopher Nolan conceived the ideas behind Tenet over twenty years, but remarked "I've been working on this iteration of the script for about six or seven years". The title is a palindrome, reading the same backwards as forwards. Nolan made a conscious effort to abstain from any influence of the spy genre other than his own memory.


, Robert Pattinson, and Elizabeth Debicki were cast in March 2019. The casting of Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh was announced as filming started. Himesh Patel joined in August, with Denzil Smith being added that September. Martin Donovan was revealed upon the release of the first trailer. In January 2020, retired ice hockey player Sean Avery made his involvement known. Jack Cutmore-Scott, Rich Ceraulo Ko, and Mélanie Laurent were included in the following months.
Nolan chose Washington for his performance in BlacKkKlansman. Washington, Pattinson, and Debicki said they were only permitted to read the screenplay while locked in a room. Pattinson based his character's mannerisms on those of author Christopher Hitchens. Kapadia's screen test was put together by director Homi Adajania while working on his 2020 film Angrezi Medium. For one day of work, Caine was merely given his pages and had not heard from Nolan since.


, involving a crew of 250 people, began in May 2019 and took place in seven countries — Denmark, Estonia, India, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, and United States. Filming in Estonia happened in June and July, with the Linnahall, Pärnu Highway, and adjacent streets closed to facilitate it. Tallinn mayor Mihhail Kõlvart expressed concerns about potential disruptions as the original shooting schedule required that the arterial Laagna Road be closed for one month. Production eventually reached a compromise involving temporary road closures and detours, after which the city government granted them a two-day extension. Scenes were shot in Ravello, Italy and Hampstead, England at Cannon Hall late August, and on the roof of the Oslo Opera House and in Tjuvholmen, Norway, and in Rødbyhavn, Denmark at Nysted Wind Farm early that September. A five-day shoot occurred later that month in Mumbai, where Nolan had traveled in February and April for location scouting. He decided on Breach Candy Hospital, Cafe Mondegar, Colaba Causeway, Colaba Market, Gateway of India, Grant Road, Royal Bombay Yacht Club, and the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. A restaurant set named "Chaand" was built near the hotel, but never used, serving only as an alternative. Forty boats were positioned at the Gateway of India, where the crew also rescued a man who had attempted suicide. A stunt where someone jumps off a building was done in Grant Road, and a helicopter was applied for aerial footage of the hospital. They moved to Victorville, California soon after, disguising it as Oslo, and worked with more than ninety extras. Instead of using miniatures and visual effects for a plane crash sequence, Nolan determined that purchasing a Boeing 747 proved more cost effective. October saw them in a desert outside Palm Springs, where an abandoned city had been constructed and hundreds were clothed in military camouflage uniforms. Director of photography Hoyte van Hoytema used a combination of 70 mm film and IMAX.


composed the score as Nolan's frequent collaborator Hans Zimmer had committed himself to the 2020 film Dune. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Göransson recorded musicians at their homes. Jennifer Lame replaced Nolan's long-time editor Lee Smith, who was occupied with 2019's 1917. DNEG created about 280 VFX shots.

Release and marketing

Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures originally scheduled Tenet for a July 17, 2020 release in IMAX, 35 mm, and 70 mm film. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was first delayed to July 31, and subsequently August 12, with a tenth anniversary screening of Inception taking the previous spot. After being held up indefinitely, Warner Bros. arranged the film to be released internationally on August 26, 2020 in seventy countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and the United Kingdom. It will then move to select cities in the United States on September 3, gradually expanding in the ensuing weeks. Executives calculated that each postponement cost Warner Bros. between $200,000 and $400,000 in marketing fees.
In August 2019, Warner Bros. debuted a forty-second teaser ahead of Hobbs & Shaw previews. It was attached to Indian showings of Joker in October. The first trailer was published online in December, when a cinema-exclusive prologue played in certain IMAX theaters before . The latter was introduced during Indian IMAX screenings of Birds of Prey in February 2020. A TV spot appeared that May, promoted in Fortnites Party Royale mode. The film's inverted logo, stylized by Nolan as TENƎꓕ, had been altered around this time because it came to light that a bicycle brand bore the same design.
With a production budget between $200–225million, Tenet is Nolan's most expensive original project. IndieWire speculated that the marketing could push the final sum to $300–350million, though analysts predicted lower advertising costs than usual, owing to inexpensive live sports ads. Observer estimated the film would need to make $450–500million in order to break even. Nolan is reported to receive twenty percent of the first-dollar gross.