Tenet is a 2020 action-thriller and science fiction film written and directed by Christopher Nolan, who produced it with Emma Thomas. A co-production between the United Kingdom and United States, it stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh. The plot follows a secret agent (Washington) as he manipulates the flow of time to prevent World War III.
Nolan took more than five years to write the screenplay after deliberating about Tenet‘s central ideas for over a decade. Pre-production began in late 2018, casting in March 2019, and principal photography lasted three months in Denmark, Estonia, India, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, and United States, from May to November. Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema shot on 70 mm and IMAX. Scenes of time manipulation were filmed both backwards and forwards. Upwards of one hundred vessels and thousands of extras were used.
Delayed three times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tenet was released in the United Kingdom on August 26, 2020, and United States on September 3, 2020, in IMAX, 35 mm, and 70 mm. It was the first Hollywood tent-pole to open in theaters after the pandemic shutdown, and has grossed $334 million worldwide, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of 2020. Tenet received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances, production value, and visuals, though some criticized the complex plot and sound mixing.
Release Date, Production, Location
In August 2019, Warner Bros. Pictures debuted a forty-second teaser ahead of Hobbs & Shaw previews. It was attached to Indian showings of Joker in October. The first trailer was published online in December, when a cinema-exclusive prologue played in certain IMAX theaters before Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The prologue was introduced during Indian IMAX screenings of Birds of Prey in February 2020. A TV spot appeared that May, promoted in the video game Fortnite. The logo, stylized by Nolan as TENƎꓕ, was altered for this trailer due to its similarity with that of a bicycle components manufacturer. The final trailer, out in August, featured Scott’s single. An exclusive making-of video was uploaded on August 26.
Warners Bros. originally scheduled Tenet for a July 17, 2020, release in IMAX, 35 mm, and 70 mm film. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was first delayed to July 31, and subsequently August 12. Executives calculated that each postponement cost Warner Bros. between $200,000 and $400,000 in marketing fees. After briefly being held up indefinitely, Warner Bros. arranged the film to be released internationally on August 26 in seventy countries, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Preview screenings commenced in Australia and South Korea on August 22 and 23. It moved to select cities in the United States on September 3, gradually expanding in the ensuing weeks. On September 4, it came out in China. Tenet became the first Hollywood tent-pole to launch in theaters following their prolonged shutdown. The lack of available movies afforded it more screens per multiplex than would otherwise be possible.
As of October 18, 2020, Tenet has grossed $50.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $283.4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $334 million. With a production budget of $200 million, Tenet is Nolan’s most expensive original project. IndieWire speculated that the marketing could push the final sum to $300–350 million, though analysts predicted lower advertising costs than usual, owing to inexpensive live sports ads. The Observer estimated it would need to make $450–500 million in order to break even; in October 2020, Variety expected the film to “lose millions” during its theatrical run. Nolan was reported to receive twenty percent of the first-dollar gross.
According to industry tracking, Tenet was projected to take $25–30 million internationally over its first five days. In South Korea, pre-sale tickets sold out all IMAX screenings and weekend previews totaled $717,000 from 590 venues. Another four days there yielded $4.13 million from about 2,200 screens, bringing the cume to $5.1 million by the end of the week. The film debuted to $53 million in forty-one countries, grossing $7.1 million in the United Kingdom, $6.7 million in France, and $4.2 million in Germany. Tenet made $58.1 million in its second weekend, with China ($30 million from first showings), the U.K. ($13.1 million), France ($10.7 million), Germany ($8.7 million), and South Korea ($8.2 million) as its largest markets. Its third weekend garnered $30.6 million, comprising $16.4 million from the U.K., $13.2 million from France, $11.4 million from Germany, $10.3 million from South Korea, and $10.2 million from China. Two weeks in Japan accumulated $11.4 million.
With 65% of the American and Canadian theaters operating at 25–40% capacity, the first eleven days acquired $20.2 million from 2,810 theaters; $2.5 million in Canada, $12 million in the U.S., and the rest from previews. The second, third, and fourth weekends added $6.7 million, $4.7 million, and $3.4 million, respectively. Tenet remained atop the box office in its fifth weekend with $2.7 million, before ceding to The War with Grandpa in its sixth weekend.
John David Washington as the Protagonist, a CIA agent
John David Washington: John David Washington (born July 28, 1984) is an American actor and former football running back. He played college football at Morehouse College and signed with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2006. Professionally, Washington spent four years as the running back for the United Football League’s Sacramento Mountain Lions.
Washington shifted to an acting career like his father, Denzel Washington, and mother, Pauletta. He was part of the main cast of the HBO comedy series Ballers (2015–2019). His breakthrough came playing Ron Stallworth in Spike Lee’s crime film BlacKkKlansman (2018), for which he received both Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. Washington achieved wider recognition after starring in Christopher Nolan’s spy film Tenet (2020).
Real Name: John David Washington
Character Name: Protagonist
Date Of Birth: 28 July, 1984
Net Worth: $6 million (as of 2020)
Height: 1.75 m
FOLLOW JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON ON:
Instagram: John David Washington
Robert Pattinson as Neil, the Protagonist’s handler
Robert Pattinson: Robert Douglas Thomas Pattinson (born 13 May 1986) is an English actor. After starting to act in a London theatre club at the age of 15, he began his film career by playing Cedric Diggory in the fantasy film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005). He went on to star as Edward Cullen in the film adaptations of the Twilight novels, consisting of five films between 2008 and 2012, which earned a combined total of over $3.3 billion worldwide. It brought Pattinson worldwide fame and established him among the world’s highest-paid actors.
After starring in the romantic dramas Remember Me (2010) and Water for Elephants (2011), Pattinson eschewed roles in big-budget films in favour of independent productions helmed by auteurs. He played a manipulative billionaire in David Cronenberg’s thriller Cosmopolis (2012), an aspiring actor in Cronenberg’s satire Maps to the Stars (2014), an explorer in James Gray’s adventure drama The Lost City of Z (2016), a bank robber in the Safdie Brothers’ crime drama Good Time (2017), a criminal in a spaceship in Claire Denis’ science-fiction drama High Life (2018), and a troubled lighthouse keeper in Robert Eggers’ horror film The Lighthouse (2019). He returned to mainstream films with a leading role in Christopher Nolan’s spy film Tenet (2020).
Pattinson has sung songs for the Twilight soundtrack and the film How to Be (both 2008). He supports several charities, including the GO Campaign. In 2010, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and he was featured in the Forbes Celebrity 100 list.
Real Name: Robert Douglas Thomas Pattinson
Character Name: Neil
Date Of Birth: May 13, 1986
Nationality: London, England
Net Worth: $100 million (as of 2020)
Height: 1.85 m
FOLLOW ROBERT PATTINSON ON:
Facebook: Robert Pattinson
Instagram: Robert Pattinson
Twitter: Robert Pattinson
Elizabeth Debicki as Katherine “Kat” Barton, an art appraiser and Sator’s estranged wife
Elizabeth Debicki: Elizabeth Debicki (born 24 August 1990) is an Australian actress. After studying drama at the Victorian College of the Arts, she made her film debut with a brief role in the Australian comedy A Few Best Men (2011). She won the AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in The Great Gatsby (2013). For starring in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Maids, she received a nomination for the Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play in 2014.
Debicki’s career progressed with roles in the films Everest (2015), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Widows (2018), and Tenet (2020); and the television series The Night Manager (2016) and The Kettering Incident (2016). For the last of these, she won the AACTA Award for Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama. She was awarded the Trophée Chopard at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
Real Name: Elizabeth Debicki
Character Name: Katherine “Kat” Barton
Date Of Birth: August 24, 1990
Net Worth: $1.9 million dollars (as of 2020)
Height: 1.9 m
FOLLOW ELIZABETH DEBICKI ON:
Facebook: Elizabeth Debicki
Instagram: Elizabeth Debicki
Twitter: Elizabeth Debicki
Dimple Kapadia as Priya, an arms trafficker
Dimple Kapadia: Dimple Kapadia (born 8 June 1957) is an Indian actress who predominantly appears in Hindi films. She was discovered at age 14 by Raj Kapoor, who cast her in the title role of his teen romance Bobby (1973), to commercial success and wide public recognition. She married the Indian actor Rajesh Khanna in the same year and retired from acting. Kapadia returned to films in 1984, two years after her separation from Khanna. Her comeback film Saagar (1985) was released a year later, and revived her career. She won the Filmfare Award for Best Actress twice for Bobby and Saagar. She went on to establish herself as one of the leading actresses of Hindi cinema in the 1980s.
While her initial roles often relied on her perceived beauty and sex appeal, Kapadia was keen to avoid being stereotyped and to expand her range. She subsequently took on more serious parts in a range of film genres, from mainstream to parallel cinema, and received acclaim for her performances in such films as Kaash (1987), Drishti (1990), Lekin… (1991), and Rudaali (1993). For playing a professional mourner in the last of these, she won the National Film Award for Best Actress and the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress. She followed with supporting roles in Gardish (1993) and Krantiveer (1994), the latter of which garnered her a fourth Filmfare Award.
Kapadia has worked less frequently since the mid 1990s. She played a supporting part in Dil Chahta Hai (2001) and was noted for her portrayal of a troubled middle-aged wife in the American production Leela (2002). Some of her later film credits include leading roles in Hum Kaun Hai? (2004), Pyaar Mein Twist (2005), Phir Kabhi (2008), Tum Milo Toh Sahi (2010) and What the Fish (2013), and supporting roles in Being Cyrus (2006), Luck by Chance (2009), Dabangg (2010), Cocktail (2012), Finding Fanny (2014), and Tenet (2020). Kapadia is the mother of Twinkle Khanna and Rinke Khanna, both former actresses.
Real Name: Dimple Kapadia
Character Name: Priya
Date Of Birth: June 8, 1957
Net Worth: $10 million (as of 2020)
FOLLOW DIMPLE KAPADIA ON:
Facebook: Dimple Kapadia
Instagram: Dimple Kapadia
Twitter: Dimple Kapadia
Martin Donovan as Fay, the Protagonist’s CIA boss
Martin Donovan: Martin Donovan (born Martin Paul Smith; August 19, 1957) is an American actor. He has had a long collaboration with director Hal Hartley, appearing in many of his films, such as Trust (1990), Surviving Desire (1991), Simple Men (1992), Flirt (1993), Amateur (1994), and The Book of Life (1998), starring as Jesus Christ in the latter. Donovan also played Peter Scottson on Showtime’s cable series Weeds. He made his writing/directorial debut with the film Collaborator (2011).
Real Name: Martin Donovan
Character Name: Fay
Date Of Birth: August 19, 1957
Net Worth: $1.5 million (as of 2020)
Height: 1.85 m
FOLLOW MARTIN DONOVAN ON:
Facebook: Martin Donovan
Instagram: Martin Donovan
Twitter: Martin Donovan
Fiona Dourif as Wheeler, leader of Blue Team
Fiona Dourif: Fiona Dourif (born October 30, 1981) is an American actress and producer. She is known for her role as Bart Curlish in BBC America’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and as the young Diane Jones in Dustin Lance Black’s When We Rise. She has appeared in Showtime’s Shameless and in a recurring role on NBC’s The Blacklist. She played Nica Pierce in the 2013 horror film Curse of Chucky and its 2017 follow-up Cult of Chucky, which are part of the Child’s Play franchise; she appears in these films alongside her father, Brad Dourif, who portrays the series’ main antagonist, Chucky. In 2018, she was cast as Good Leader Tavis in the USA Network series The Purge.
Real Name: Fiona Dourif
Character Name: Wheeler
Date Of Birth: October 30, 1981
Net Worth: $9 million (as of 2020)
FOLLOW FIONA DOURIF ON:
Facebook: Fiona Dourif
Instagram: Fiona Dourif
Twitter: Fiona Dourif
Yuri Kolokolnikov as Volkov, Sator’s bodyguard
Yuri Kolokolnikov: Yuri Andreyevich Kolokolnikov (Russian: Юрий Андреевич Колокольников; born 15 December 1980) is a Russian stage and film actor. In the West, Kolokolnikov is best known for his performance as Styr in the television series Game of Thrones and as Gennadi Bystrov in The Americans.
Real Name: Yuri Kolokolnikov
Character Name: Volkov
Date Of Birth: December 15, 1980
Net Worth: $1 Million (as of 2020)
Height: 1.96 m
FOLLOW YURI KOLOKOLNIKOV ON:
Facebook: Yuri Kolokolnikov
Instagram: Yuri Kolokolnikov
Twitter: Yuri Kolokolnikov
Himesh Patel as Mahir, a fixer
Himesh Patel: Himesh Jitendra Patel (born 13 October 1990) is an English actor. He is known for playing Tamwar Masood on the BBC soap opera EastEnders from 2007 to 2016 and for starring in the 2019 musical romantic comedy film Yesterday (2019).
Real Name: Himesh Patel
Character Name: Mahir
Date Of Birth: October 13, 1990
Nationality: English / Sawtry, United Kingdom
Net Worth: $1.3 Million (as of 2020)
Height: 1.8 m
FOLLOW HIMESH PATEL ON:
Facebook: Himesh Patel
Instagram: Himesh Patel
Twitter: Himesh Patel
Clémence Poésy as Barbara, a scientist
Clémence Poésy: Clémence Guichard (born 30 October 1982), known professionally as Clémence Poésy (French: [klemɑ̃s pɔezi]), is a French actress and fashion model. After starting on the stage as a child, Poésy studied drama and has been active in both film and television since 1999, including some English-language productions. She is known for the roles of Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter film series, Chloë in In Bruges, Rana in 127 Hours, Natasha Rostova in War and Peace, and the lead role as Elise Wassermann in the 24-episode series The Tunnel.
Real Name: Clémence Poésy
Character Name: Barbara
Date Of Birth: October 30, 1982
Net Worth: $8 million dollars (as of 2020)
Height: 1.7 m
FOLLOW CLÉMENCE POÉSY ON:
Facebook: Clémence Poésy
Instagram: Clémence Poésy
Twitter: Clémence Poésy
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Ives, a military commander
Aaron Taylor-Johnson: Aaron Perry Taylor-Johnson (born 13 June 1990) is an English actor. He is best known for his portrayal of the title character in Kick-Ass (2010) and its 2013 sequel, and Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Taylor-Johnson began performing at age six and has appeared in films, such as Shanghai Knights (2003), playing a young Charlie Chaplin, The Illusionist (2006), The Thief Lord (2006), and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008).
He had his breakthrough performance in the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy (2009). Taylor-Johnson went on to portray Ben in the Oliver Stone-directed crime thriller Savages (2012), Russian aristocrat Count Vronsky in Joe Wright’s adaptation of Anna Karenina (2012) and Lt. Brody in Gareth Edwards’ monster movie Godzilla (2014).
For his performance as psychopathic drifter Ray Marcus in Tom Ford’s thriller Nocturnal Animals (2016), he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Taylor-Johnson later starred as military commander Ives in Christopher Nolan’s spy action epic Tenet (2020).
Real Name: Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Character Name: Ives
Date Of Birth: June 13, 1990
Net Worth: $17 million (as of 2020)
Height: 1.8 m
FOLLOW AARON TAYLOR-JOHNSON ON:
Facebook: Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Instagram: Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Twitter: Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Michael Caine as Sir Michael Crosby, a British Intelligence officer
Michael Caine: Sir Michael Caine CBE (born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr., 14 March 1933) is an English actor. Known for his distinctive Cockney accent, he has appeared in more than 130 films during a career spanning over 60 years, and is considered a British film icon. As of February 2017, the films in which he has appeared have grossed over $7.8 billion worldwide. He is ranked at No. 20 on the list of highest-grossing box office stars.
Caine made his breakthrough in the 1960s with starring roles in British films such as Zulu (1964), The Ipcress File (1965), Alfie (1966), The Italian Job (1969), and Battle of Britain (1969). He was nominated for an Academy Award for Alfie. His roles in the 1970s included Get Carter (1971), The Last Valley (1971), Sleuth (1972), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), and A Bridge Too Far (1977). He earned his second Academy Award nomination for Sleuth and went on to achieve some of his greatest critical success in the 1980s, with Educating Rita (1983) earning him the BAFTA and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. He received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986).
Caine played Ebenezer Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992). His first starring role in several years, it led to a career resurgence in the late 1990s; he received his second Golden Globe Award for his performance in Little Voice (1998) and his second Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for The Cider House Rules (1999). He played Nigel Powers in the 2002 parody Austin Powers in Goldmember, and Alfred Pennyworth in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy. He appeared in several other of Nolan’s films, including The Prestige (2006), Inception (2010), Interstellar (2014), and Tenet (2020). He also appeared in the sci-fi thriller film Children of Men (2006) and the action comedy film Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014).
Caine, alongside Laurence Olivier, Paul Newman and Jack Nicholson, is one of only four male actors to be nominated for an Academy Award for acting in five decades. Caine has appeared in seven films that featured in the British Film Institute’s 100 greatest British films of the 20th century. In 2000, he received a BAFTA Fellowship and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his contribution to cinema.
Character Name: Sir Michael Crosby
Date Of Birth: March 14, 1933
Net Worth: $75 million (as of 2020)
FOLLOW MICHAEL CAINE ON:
Facebook: Michael Caine
Instagram: Michael Caine
Twitter: Michael Caine
Kenneth Branagh as Andrei Sator, a Russian oligarch who communes with the future
Kenneth Branagh: Sir Kenneth Charles Branagh (/ˈbrænə/; born 10 December 1960) is a Northern Irish actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. Branagh trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London; in 2015 he succeeded Richard Attenborough as its president. He has been nominated for five Academy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards; he has won three BAFTAs and two Emmy Awards. He was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 2012 Birthday Honours and knighted on 9 November 2012. He was made a Freeman of his native city of Belfast in January 2018. In 2020, he was listed at number 20 on The Irish Times list of Ireland’s greatest film actors.
Branagh has both directed and starred in several film adaptations of William Shakespeare’s plays, including Henry V (1989), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Othello (1995), Hamlet (1996), Love’s Labour’s Lost (2000), and As You Like It (2006). He was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Director for Henry V and for Best Adapted Screenplay for Hamlet.
He has also starred in the television series Fortunes of War (1987), Shackleton (2002), and Wallander (2008–2016) and in the films Celebrity (1998), Wild Wild West (1999), The Road to El Dorado (2000), as SS leader Reinhard Heydrich in Conspiracy (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Warm Springs (2005), as Major General Henning von Tresckow in Valkyrie (2008), The Boat That Rocked (2009), and as Sir Laurence Olivier in My Week with Marilyn (2011), Dunkirk (2017), and Tenet (2020). He won an International Emmy Award for Wallander and a Primetime Emmy Award for Conspiracy, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for My Week with Marilyn.
Branagh directed and starred in the romantic thriller Dead Again (1991), the horror film Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994), and the action thriller Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014). He directed and starred as Hercule Poirot in the mystery drama adaptations of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (2017) and Death on the Nile (2020). He also directed such films as Swan Song (1992), which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Live Action Short Film, The Magic Flute (2006), Sleuth (2007), the Marvel superhero film Thor (2011), and the live-action adaptation of Disney’s Cinderella (2015),
He narrated numerous documentary series, including Cold War (1998), Walking with Dinosaurs (1999), The Ballad of Big Al (2001), Walking with Beasts (2001), Walking with Monsters (2005), and World War 1 in Colour (2005).
Real Name: Kenneth Branagh
Character Name: Andrei Sator
Date Of Birth: December 10, 1960
Nationality: Northern Irish
Net Worth: $60 million (as of 2020)
FOLLOW KENNETH BRANAGH ON:
Facebook: Kenneth Branagh
Instagram: Kenneth Branagh
Twitter: Kenneth Branagh
Tenet: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack album to the 2020 film of the same name written and directed by Christopher Nolan, released under WaterTower Music on September 3, 2020. Ludwig Göransson created and composed the score for the film, marking his first collaboration with Nolan who originally wanted frequent collaborator Hans Zimmer, who had to decline due to his commitments to Dune which was also produced by Warner Bros. Pictures.
- “Rainy Night in Tallinn“
- “Meeting Neil“
- “From Mumbai to Amalfi“
- “Trucks in Place“
- “Red Room Blue Room“
- “Retrieving the Case“
- “The Algorithm“
- “The Protagonist“
- “The Plan” (performed by Travis Scott)