Christopher Nolan is a filmmaker who is known for making heady action-thrillers that make you question what you are seeing on screen. And yet, for someone who indulges so frequently in reality-bending plots, Nolan is famed for his devotion to capturing real-world action instead of relying on CGI. Perhaps there is no greater example of this devotion than the fact that Nolan bought and crashed a real-life 747 jet plane into a hangar for the upcoming movie Tenet. The filmmaker dished about the details of the stunt in a recent interview.
"I planned to do it using miniatures and set-piece builds and a combination of visual effects and all the rest."
But that plan went out the window when Christopher Nolan and his team were scouting for locations in Victorville, California, where they discovered an airplane graveyard filled with aircrafts that may never fly again but could be easily maneuvered to operate convincingly for the duration of the planned scene.
"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."
Nolan describes buying the actual 747, as seen in the Tenet trailer, as a spur of the moment purchase that ultimately added a great deal of realism and excitement to the sequence.
"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."
This is not the first time that Nolan has destroyed a plane in the name of moviemaking. The Dark Knight Rises features a spectacular opening sequence in which Bane is rescued from a CIA plane when his henchmen break the pane in half in mid-air and send it plummeting to earth.
If the plane scene in Tenet matches the raw excitement of the scene in The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan's investment in buying an actual plane just to blow it up will have been well worth it. One of the lead actors of the upcoming film, Robert Pattinson, is also glad he was able to witness a stunt so bold it might never be replicated again.
"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 tells the tale of a mysterious secret agent tasked with preventing armageddon with the help of an even more mysterious 'time inversion' technology. It remains to be seen if the hotly-anticipated film will manage to reopen theaters in July as planned, or will be consigned to postponement or a PVOD release. This news comes from GamesRadar.