Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ to Cost More Than $200 Million

     January 10, 2020

Christopher Nolan‘s new action movie Tenet will cost more than $200 million, sources tell Collider in the wake of a Variety story that pegged the number at an eye-popping $225 million — and that’s before a nine-figure marketing campaign.

Nolan is, of course, one of the few people on the planet who could command such an enormous budget for an original movie that isn’t based on a popular IP. Collider’s sources put the number at $205 million — at least — which isn’t to cast aspersions toward Variety’s report, but simply confirms the trade’s conclusion that the budget is, without question, north of the $200 million milestone. Interestingly enough, the trade later revised its number to $205 million without noting any kind of update.

For those keeping score at home, Nolan’s own Inception cost a reported $160 million, and that movie had cities folding in on themselves, plus Leonardo DiCaprio — and to be honest, I don’t know which costs more. Either way, Tenet doesn’t have DiCaprio, though star Robert Pattinson, soon to be seen in WB’s The Batman, is on the same trajectory, and the film’s true lead John David Washington proved he can carry a movie with Spike Lee‘s BlacKkKlansman.


Image via Warner Bros.

Little is known about Tenet beyond the fact that it’s a high-stakes epic set within the world of international espionage, but given the budget, you can expect plenty of spectacle. The trailer hints that Nolan will be playing with time here, and if anyone can pull off a heady spy movie, it’s the director of Inception. As they say on the Warner Bros. lot, “In Nolan We Trust.” With Nolan, every penny winds up on the screen, and it’s money well spent — even if it is, in fact, $20 million more than what we’ve heard from our own sources. The truth is, in the scheme of things, $20 million is splitting hairs. It’s nothing compared to the range of budgets I’ve seen reported for The Irishman, ahem.

Tenet co-stars Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, Himesh Patel, Dimple Kapadia, Martin Donovan, Kenneth Branagh and Nolan’s good luck charm Michael Caine, who played Alfred in the director’s Dark Knight trilogy. And guess who’s doing the score? Ludwig Göransson, the man behind Black Panther, Creed, and most recently, The Mandalorian. That’s a lot of bang for your buck, and Warner Bros.’ bucks, too.

Warners, which does not comment regarding its budgets, will release Tenet on July 17th, the day that Time. Runs. Out. For a list ranking Nolan’s movies that I personally endorse even though it’s not mine and he would hate the idea, click here.

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