Nolan Reveals Why He Used A Real 747 For Tenet Plane Crash

Tenet‘s marketing blitzkrieg is in full-swing with magazine covers, hi-res still and quotes from the man himself. All of this erupted with the launch of a brand new trailer and one major sequence in that trailer has caught everyone’s attention. The scene in question, rumored to occur for a while now, concludes the trailer and sees a Boeing 747 crashing into an airport hangar. In a chat with Total Film, Nolan reveals why they used a real 747 for that sequence despite considering other options.

I planned to do it using miniatures and set-piece builds and a combination of visual effects and all the rest. We started to run the numbers… It became apparent that it would actually be more efficient to buy a real plane of the real size, and perform this sequence for real in camera, rather than build miniatures or go the CG route.

So what you see in that sequence is a real plane crashing against the airport hangar. Not VFX. Not CGI. Not miniatures. Just how Nolan likes it. Surely effects must’ve enhanced the explosions and other items in the scene but it’s fascinating seeing and hearing about a real 747 being used to film the sequence, never mind if it’s largely to save on cost. It almost became an impulsive decision to buy a real plane and use it for the shoot.

It’s a strange thing to talk about – a kind of impulse buying, I suppose. But we kind of did, and it worked very well, with Scott Fisher, our special-effects supervisor, and Nathan Crowley, the production designer, figuring out how to pull off this big sequence in camera. It was a very exciting thing to be a part of.

Robert Pattinson also pitched in with his thoughts on the sequence, at once in awe of the sheer audacity, ridiculousness and novelty factor associated with doing something like this. He’s positive we won’t be seeing anything of that sort on film for quite a while.

You wouldn’t have thought there was any reality where you would be doing a scene where they just have an actual 747 to blow up! It’s so bold to the point of ridiculousness… I remember, as we were shooting it, I was thinking, ‘How many more times is this even going to be happening in a film at all?’

Tenet is thus far ticking all the right boxes and is shaping up to be quite an entertainer. Total Film is doing quite a tease, laying out its reveals before the official magazine puts it out for us to see. I’ll be keeping an eye out for any new info that emerges out of this issue aside from what we’ve already seen and attempt to bring it online for you folks to read.

Tenet is scheduled for a July 17 release for now. Whether Warner Bros. would stick to that date though is a bit sketchy. It features an ensemble cast including the likes of John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Clemence Poesy, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Dimple Kapadia with Kenneth Branagh and Michael Caine. Nolan will produce with his partner Emma Thomas with the film being distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.