Upcoming time-bending thriller Tenet, director Christopher Nolan already had presided over the explosions of dishes, windows, a small fleet of cars, and — judging from the latest trailer — even an entire symphony orchestra, he is renowned for his preference for practical effects over CGI. So when it came time to film a sequence involving the destruction of a passenger plane – during the production of the highly-anticipated Tenet – Nolan opted to simply blow up a real 747 rather than rely on visual effects.
“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,” Nolan told UK magazine Total Film, via GameRadar.
According to Nolan the team discovered a stockpile of old planes while location scouting in California, and called the purchase “kind of impulse buying.”Star Robert Pattinson dubbed the move “so bold to the point of ridiculousness. 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!” said the actor.
Nolan recently unveiled the second trailer for Tenet, after which leading man John David Washington revealed that he and the other actors were often just as confused about the movie’s plot as fans watching the teaser.