Christopher Nolan’s Tenet Trailer Reveals An Awesome Practical Stunt

Robert Pattinson and John David Washington in Tenet
(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

There’s a reason why the words “coming to theaters” unmistakably closed the latest Tenet trailer that dropped this week. When Christopher Nolan makes a movie, he takes his cast and crew to a living and breathing set, and he doesn’t settle for a green screen plane. Jaw dropped yet? That’s right, John David Washington has just confirmed an actual 747 was blown up for Tenet. In the actor’s words:

That was a real plane, and that was a real building that they crashed that plane into. And we, cast and crew, all witnessed it. It was epic! It was incredible, we all cheered and hurrayed and hurrahed when they yelled cut after Chris felt like he got it. What you saw is really what happened – at least the night I was there.

Whoa, Christopher Nolan does not cut corners here. Green screen and CGI are popular mediums in large-scale movies today and are almost expected in a scene, but that plane reveal toward the end of the trailer was completely real. Nolan has teased the magnitude of Tenet, saying prior that it would cross a number of genres and include set pieces he’d never tried before. Fans can now look forward to seeing this epic plane sequence in full on the big screen.

If you have yet to see the new 3-minute trailer to Tenet, check it out here:

Since the practical plane sequence closes off the trailer, it feels like Nolan is telling us to take note and pay attention to it in particular. Robert Pattinson’s unknown character (we don’t currently know any of their names or roles) quips the planned plane crash is “a little dramatic.” It looks like it’s going to be a practical effect centerpiece of Tenet, but the context here as to why a plane needs to crash into a building is just one of the many questions on our mind about the upcoming action flick.

The second Tenet trailer dropped on Fortnite first this past Thursday and was followed by an exclusive interview with John David Washington about the making of the movie. The BlackKklansman star explained that they actually traveled to all the amazing locations seen in the footage, including Mumbai, India and Copenhagen, Denmark as well.

Tenet is flooded with even more practical effects, because that’s how Nolan does things. In Interstellar, the filmmaker created physical sets such as the cockpit for the film, and he has claimed that 2017’s Dunkirk was made without the use of green screens at all, not to mention that awesome gravity-defying fight sequence in Inception being completely practical.

It’s details like this that make Christopher Nolan such a respected director, who we can’t wait to see more work from. (It’s also how you get the massive $225 production budget Tenet reportedly cost). Tenet’s release date is still holding at July 17, despite theater closures still in effect. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more updates on the highly-anticipated summer film.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.