Tenet: Christopher Nolan Decided to Blow Up a REAL PLANE For One of the Scenes

It wouldn’t be a stretch to call Christopher Nolan the Steven Spielberg of the iPhone generation. No, they’re both unique in their own ways with distinct styles. But in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, Spielberg was famous for making blockbuster spectacles that appealed to the masses as well as the thinking cinephile. Nolan is no different. While Inception is known to be a mind-bending sci-fi thriller, it’s also a glorious action bonanza. The Dark Knight may be a psychological thriller, but remember, Nolan actually flipped a massive truck for one of the scenes.

Speaking of destroying massive vehicles, one of the biggest set-pieces in TENET, involves an aeroplane crash. Sure, that isn’t out of the ordinary when it comes to Hollywood films, EXCEPT this scene in the upcoming Nolan film isn’t designed and brought to life on a computer — it isn’t CGI. Nolan actually got his production crew to purchase and then crash an ACTUAL, REAL LIFE, NOT-REPLICA Boeing 747 plane.

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In an interview with Total FilmNolan said, “I planned to do it using miniatures and set-piece builds and a combination of visual effects and all the rest.” However, while scouting for locations in Victorville, California, the team discovered a massive array of old planes. “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 added:

“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.”