Fun Facts

17 Fun Facts About Tenet Movie

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Do you like mysterious movies? Then this will certainly be your taste! Let’s take a closer look at some cool facts about Tenet.

1. It’s a Christopher Nolan masterpiece

If you like Christopher Nolan’s style of cerebral, nonlinear storytelling as in some of his movies such as “Memento” (2000), “Inception” (2010), or “Interstellar” (2014), then you’re surely in for another treat with Tenet.

The protagonist of the movie must fight for the survival of the entire world and go on a journey of international espionage to uncover something that’s beyond real-time.

Something fascinating will unfold, that’s for sure!

Tenet christopher nolan
Christopher Nolan on the set of the “Dark Knight.” / Source

2. This is the tagline of the movie

The tagline doesn’t reveal too much but emphasizes that it’s a movie that will glue you to your seat:

Time Runs Out.”

tenet time runs out
Image Credit: Warnerbros

3. This was the movie’s working name

One of the most interesting facts about Tenet is that it had a completely different name during the production.

The working title of Tenet was: “Merry Go Round.”

tenet merry go round

4. The movie is a palindrome

One of the coolest facts about Tenet is that it’s actually a palindrome. This means that the movie reads the same forwards as backward.

In one of his earliest movies, Memento from 2000, a story unfolding as the main character’s memory is wiped out every 10 minutes, Christopher Nolan already showed his talent for being able to tell the story backward.

tenet Palindrome

5. Nolan worked on the movie for two decades

Yes, you read that right! Christopher Nolan had been working on the concept of Tenet for a total of 20 years.

This means that the movie is a culmination of two decades worth of work to perfect a storyline that will literally blow us away!

cool facts about tenet

6. Nolan broke with one of his famous traditions

Christopher Nolan is a huge James Bond fan, but because this movie is in the spy-movie genre, he refrained from watching any Bond flicks for a long period of time.

In fact, this marks the longest period without watching any Bond movies in his entire life! He did this because he didn’t want to be influenced by them in any and only wanted to solely use his memory to get references for the genre.

But there’s more. Because of this, Nolan had to break with one of his most famous traditions, which is to invite the entire cast and crew to watch movies that inspired him to create the movie they are about to shoot.

There were no screenings like this so the actors had to draw inspiration from their memory of spy movies as well.

Tenet james bond

7. Tenet is surrounded with mystery

Nolan even took it a step further and didn’t freely distribute the script of the movie to the actors as well. Robert Pattinson was only allowed to read the script once before filming started, and Michael Caine was only allowed to read his own lines, not even the entire script.

Caine, who had worked with Nolan 7 times earlier, honestly mentioned to journalists that he had no idea what the movie was about before the film’s release.

tenet michael caine

8. The movie has a new composer and editor

Due to unanticipated circumstances, both Nolan’s usual composer and editor had to reject the job for Tenet. Composer Hans Zimmer, who had been working with Nolan since “The Prestige” in 2006, and editor Lee Smith, who had been working with Nolan since “Batman Begins” in 2005, we’re unable to work on this project.

Hans Zimmer was replaced by Ludwig Göransson, a friend of Zimmer who he had recommended, and Jennifer Lame.

Ludwig Göransson, a composer from Sweden, wasn’t a newbie though as he already won an Oscar for his work on “Black Panther” (2018).

Tenet pattinson washington

9. This is how John David Washington got his role

John David Washington is the son of Denzel Washington and has followed his father’s epic footsteps into the acting business.

To draw the attention of Christopher Nolan, you must be talented, and he is.

Nolan discovered his talent when he watched his role in the HBO series “Ballers” (2015) and his epic role in the movie “BlacKkKlansman” (2018).

facts about tenet john david washington

10. The budget for the movie was huge

Christopher Nolan started his career working on low-budget movies, and it gradually grew as all of them proved to be hits.

He outdid himself with Tenet though because the total budget of the movie is estimated to be around $205 million, making it one of the most expensive movies ever made!

Tenet budget

11. This kind of explains why such a massive budget was needed

One of the scenes involves a massive Boeing 747 airplane crashing into a hangar.

One of the most amazing facts about Tenet is that the production crew actually purchased a real Boeing 747 airplane so they could make it crash to film this scene!

There were no visual effects used and no CGI for this particular scene, all of it was real.

Now imagine making a mistake such as blowing up the bridge early in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly! It would be pretty costly, right?

tenet boeing 747 scene real

12. The crew built a restaurant set and never used it

To further emphasize the need for such a huge budget, here’s another interesting anecdote about filming Tenet.

One of the scenes was shot near the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, India. Right next to the hotel, they built a massive restaurant set which was named “Chaand.”

The massive set was never used and only served as a backup in case they would need it. The set was demolished and played no part in the movie whatsoever.

The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai where some scenes of Tenet were shot
The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai where some scenes of Tenet were shot. / Source

13. The movie was shot in 7 different countries

Another expensive endeavor was the fact that the set was constantly moving during the shooting of the movie as well.

Tenet was shot in a total of 7 countries:

  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Norway
  • United Kingdom
  • Italy
  • India
  • United States
Tenet movie locations

14. Filming took quite a long time

Because of the constant traveling, it took quite a while before the movie could be wrapped up. Filming started in May 2019 and was only completed in November of the same year.

This was all managed by a crew of 250 people!

fun facts about tenet

15. Is Tenet a crossword puzzle?

According to actor Kenneth Branagh (who worked together with Nolan in “Dunkirk” in 2017 as well), it surely is!

He revealed that he has never read a script so many times as that of Tenet and actually compared it to solving the daily crossword puzzle in the Times newspaper.

Tenet facts

16. Is Tenet the most amazing movie ever made?

After John David Washington was offered the role of the main character in the movie, he was invited to Christopher Nolan’s locked Warner Bros. Studios office to read the script of Tenet.

It took him a total of 5 hours to complete reading the script because he was constantly flipping it back and forth.

He left the office in pure amazement by what his just read!

tenet amazing script

17. Watch the Tenet trailer here

Without further ado, you can check out the Tenet trailer in the video below: