Christopher Nolan Discusses The Complexities of Shooting Time-Inversion Action Scenes For TENET

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Director Christopher Nolan has a tendency of going big when he puts together the action and fight sequences for his films. He is looking to stun and wow audiences with these scenes and he has succeeded in that!

His upcoming quantum cold war spy thriller Tenet is going to take things to another level though because the action scenes deal with time inversion, and as we’ve seen in the trailers, that means some of those scenes play out backward and forward. As you might imagine, that involved some crazy and complicated choreography.

During an interview with Games Radar, Nolan discussed the complexities of shooting these fight scenes, saying:

“The complexities of fighting, and that this concept of inversion of time present, were clearly going to be an important part of the story. So I sat with the stunt team very early on, with George Cottle, our stunt coordinator, and Jackson Spidell, our fight coordinator. And we looked at a lot of different fight moves, and how they could be manipulated through time and over time. And we actually had a very intensive rehearsal period. The physical choreography of the film is one of the things that we approached first, and spent a lot of time in prep working with very talented stunt people, as well as some dancers as well, and looking at dance choreography, and how that could inform things.

“We really put a lot of care and attention to it, because we felt that the physical movement, and the physicality of the piece – John David Washington’s character The Protagonist is an extremely physical character, as is Robert Pattinson’s Neil – and really trying to approach how the action was going to work in the film. It felt like if we could crack that, and we’d start with the scenes where there’s hand-to-hand combat – but if we could crack that, and crack how we approach filming that, the rest of the film would start to fall into place, as we got more and more complicated and larger and larger scale action.”

Well, we’ll get to see how exactly this all works in the film when it’s released. I love what I’ve seen in the trailer, but I’m pretty sure that stuff is just a little take of what’s in store. I can’t wait to see what the really crazy, complicated stuff looks like!

Tenet has been described as a “mind-blowing espionage thriller so unique that audiences will puzzle over its intricacies for years to come.” It’s also said to be a “time-bending masterpiece”. Here’s the synopsis for the film:

Armed with only one word – Tenet – and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time. Not time travel. Inversion.

The movie stars John David Washington, Robert PattinsonElizabeth DebickiDimple KapadiaAaron Taylor-JohnsonClémence PoésyMichael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh.

Tenet is currently scheduled to arrive in U.S. theaters on September 3.



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