After what seems like centuries, even if it’s only been just over two months, we’ve finally gotten a new trailer for a tentpole movie hitting theaters soon – well, soonish.
Warner Bros. dropped the first trailer for Christopher Nolan’s highly-anticipated Tenet, hilariously releasing it first in-game on Fortnite before the usual channels. Maybe it was because of the Fortnite surprise, maybe because it’s Christopher Nolan, and maybe because we’ve all been shut in for two months and slowly losing our minds, but the trailer dropping felt like a release. It felt like a celebration. And since it’s a Nolan movie, it, in typical fashion, delivered.
I’ve watched it a handful of times and I still don’t fully understand the premise – and I love that I don’t. It’s quintessential Christopher Nolan to keep the details and twists of his films under wraps. There are a few other Nolan trademarks we can always count on: It will be high-concept and cerebral. The cast will be excellent. Michael Caine will be in it. And the effects will all be as practical as possible, sometimes requiring Herculean feats of ingenuity to get them done.
Such is the case with Tenet, specifically, the set piece at the airport hangar you see in the trailer. Robert Pattinson’s character refers to it as “a little dramatic,” and he’s not wrong. It’s hard to call a jet airliner crashing into a hangar and exploding anything but.
One might think that would require heavy lifting via CGI – after all, what director is actually going to crash a real-life jumbo jet and blow it up? Christopher Nolan, that’s who. Star John David Washington (Denzel’s son, for those of you who didn’t know) confirmed on Fortnite that that action sequence was shot practically – no CGI involved:
“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 hoorayed and hurrahed when they yelled ‘cut,’ after Chris felt like he got it. So what you saw, it’s really what happened. At least the night I was there.”
Washington also went on to reveal that even the hand-to-hand combat is new and eye-popping. The fight sequences developed by stunt coordinator and longtime Nolan collaborator, George Cottle, are creative in a way we’ve not yet seen:
“Some of the moves that we were doing, especially those hand-to-hand sequences, and the physicality of it all, some of our stunt guys — George Cottle and company — they’ve never done some of these moves before, they were sort of inventing them for this movie specifically. So it’s so exciting that we’re going to be able to introduce this new style of fighting, this new style of combat.”
This certainly wouldn’t be the first time Nolan has gotten creative with fight sequences in his films. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s rotating hallway fight scene in Inception is one of the more visually memorable fights in a movie in decades. While other filmmakers, particularly those involved with the Matrix franchise, and later John Wick – the Wachowskis, Chad Stahelski, David Leitch – are more known for being action directors and their inventiveness when it comes to hand-to-hand combat, Nolan isn’t exactly a slouch. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how it all comes together, especially as Washington also said that what Nolan does in Tenet “will dictate the next 10 to 15 years of filmmaking.”
Sign me up.
Is it July 17th yet? Add Tenet to your watchlist and we’ll let you know when tickets go on sale.