Michael Caine Really Only Knows Two Things About Christopher Nolan's Tenet

Michael Caine in the Dark Knight Rises 2012

Michael Caine has been in the movie business for a long time and has racked up a handful of Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Baftas and SAG Awards over the year. In short, he's a bit of a legend and he’s also become known as a ‘lucky charm’ of sorts for one director: Christopher Nolan. Caine has, in fact, appeared in all of Nolan’s films since Batman Begins came out in 2005, including his upcoming movie Tenet.

Despite having already filmed Tenet, and despite being someone that Christopher Nolan clearly relies on as an actor, Michael Caine has now admitted that he really only knows two things about Tenet. The first? He shot scenes with John David Washington, also mentioning the secretive nature of the project.

He [Nolan] is so secretive he won’t let me have the script. All I had was one day’s work and he gave me my pages. I did my part and shot only with John David. I haven’t heard anything since.

Hearing Christopher Nolan is clandestine even with the actors should come as no real shock. A lot of Nolan's projects are set up to be super secretive. I still remember when the first trailer for Inception came out and no one knew what the heck was going on. There was just a spinning top and a sense of doom.

Per what Michael Caine told The Hindu, he knows he shot his scenes with John David Washington and he knows one other thing about why he’s in the movie. The other being that he’s a bit of a “lucky mascot” for the movie, noting,

All the films I have made with [Nolan] have raked in over a billion dollars, so he has to have me in a film even if he has no part for me. In Dunkirk, I was only a voice-over and I got billing in the credit title.

To his point, Inception actually made a little over $828 million worldwide. Batman Begins made $373 million worldwide, whereas The Dark Knight made over a billion and The Dark Knight Rises also made over a billion. Dunkirk made close to $527 million worldwide and was also profitable, even if it didn’t hit that billion mark.

The point is, in fact, that each of these movies has raked in a profit at the box office and Michael Caine may be a part of the reason why. Just don’t ask him what the movie’s actually about.

Getting back to Tenet, Michael Caine may know only two things about the movie, but we know at least a wee bit more. Along with John David Washington and Michael Caine, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh and Dimple Kapadia star the movie. We also know a group called The Afterlife will be involved and that John David Washington will be tasked with attempting to prevent World War III.

Or at least that’s what the movie seems to be about. In fact, there’s already a full trailer for Tenet, although I’d be hard-pressed to really explain what the movie will be about.

(To note, Michael Caine does not show up in the trailer.)

The theatrical industry has been pretty disrupted over the past several weeks due to coronavirus, but Tenet wasn’t expected to hit theaters until later in the summer anyway. Although, to be honest, I wouldn’t anticipate knowing a lot more about the movie’s plot ahead of its release. That’s just how Christopher Nolan seems to like it.

Tenet is expected to hit theaters on July 17, 2020. A lot of other release dates have recently shifted and you can see more with CinemaBlend's full 2020 theatrical schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.