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Christopher Nolan Says He Crashed a Real 747 in ‘Tenet’ Because It Was Cheaper Than Using CG

”It became apparent that it would actually be more efficient to buy a real plane of the real size,“ director says in interview

Christopher Nolan isn’t giving away any secrets about his latest film “Tenet,” but he was proud to boast about a stunt in which the crew blew up a real 747 plane because he said it would actually be cheaper than doing the same stunt with CGI.

The latest trailer for “Tenet” concluded with a scene in which a grounded plane crashes into a hangar, and Nolan explained in a recent interview with Total Film that the stunt wasn’t a model or a replica and especially wasn’t digitally made.

“I planned to do it using miniatures and set-piece builds and a combination of visual effects and all the rest,” Nolan told Total Film. “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.”

“Tenet” star John David Washington teased the excitement of watching the stunt in his recent interview on “Fortnite” where the latest trailer premiered. And Pattinson also told Total Film that he was blown away by what was accomplished.

“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,” Pattinson said. “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?'”

Nolan has always been one to prioritize real stunts over CGI creations, but the budget for “Tenet” is reportedly $200 million, so even this stunt surely didn’t come all that cheap.

“It’s a strange thing to talk about – a kind of impulse buying, I suppose,” Nolan said in the interview. “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.”

“Tenet” is still on track to open in theaters on July 17. Check out the latest trailer for the film here.