Christopher Nolan may be notoriously tight-lipped about his films, but we’ve got details about Tenet. As the release of Tenet draws closer, we’re finally getting some new details from the writer-director himself.

When news of Nolan’s project first broke over a year ago in May of 2019, details were vague. Warner Bros announced the casting of John David Washington, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Robert Pattinson alongside the vague description that the film would be “an action epic evolving from the world of international espionage.”

What Could Tenet Really Be About?

Since the release of the first trailer, fans have speculated the spy flick will also delve into time travel. 

Nolan himself is now going on the record as saying Tenet is not a time travel film. But rather one that deals with “the different ways time can function” expressed through inversion, a concept inspired by physics and the law of entropy.

(If you’re already getting lost in Nolan-speak, here’s the translation. Tenet isn’t a film about going back in time 100 years, but about smaller manipulations known as “inversions”. For instance, the ability to reverse time enough to “shoot” bullets back into a gun.)

Kenneth Branagh, set to play a villainous Russian oligarch in the film, offers something a little more solid.

It’s an espionage piece that’s dealing with a global threat to the world. A nuclear holocaust is not the greatest disaster that could befall the human race. Tenet discusses an even worse possibility, and it is wrapped up in this mind-boggling treatment of time that continues Chris Nolan’s preoccupations in films way back to Memento, through Interstellar and Inception.

What Else Do We Know About The Film?


So we’ve got time manipulation and a global threat that’s not a nuclear holocaust. What else do we know about Tenet?

Unsurprisingly, it’s going to be a big one. If you’re hoping for a classic blockbuster, Tenet is sure to be one to watch. Nolan described the project as “colossal.”

“The set would certainly rank as one of the largest-scale outdoor builds of all time,” Nolan says.

They built an entire city in Palm Springs to destroy. That’s what Nolan is referring to. But that’s not all – Tenet was shot in six other countries abroad, including India, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Estonia, and the United Kingdom. 

“I think if you’re working on a film where you come in on Tuesday and there’s a bluescreen and then you change it on Wednesday to a greenscreen, no one’s really going to care,” says Nolan. “But if [you are in] Tallinn in Estonia and then you get on a plane and you’re in Amalfi in Italy, it’s an incredible change of scene and brings with it a feeling that seeps into the movie.” 

You don’t have long to wait. Tenet hits theaters July 31.

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