They say you’ve got to spend money to make money. In the case of Christopher Nolan’s new movie Tenet, at least the first half of that statement is quite true. It’s been revealed that Warner Bros. is spending a whole lot of money on the latest from Nolan, to the tune of more than $200 million. That is quite a big price tag for an original movie, even if it is coming from one of the most reliable and beloved modern filmmakers around.
According to a new report, Tenet‘s budget is said to be in the $205 million range. To offer some perspective on that figure, The Dark Knight grossed just over $1 billion at the global box office, working from a budget of $185 million. But that movie had Batman in it. Tenet, by all accounts, is a totally original movie that Christopher Nolan wrote himself. There has been some speculation and theorizing that it is a secret sequel to Inception, but there has been zero confirmation on that front. So, for now, we have to operate under the assumption that this is an original project.
Speaking of Inception, that is Christopher Nolan’s most successful original movie to date. Made for $160 million, it grossed $829 million globally, and went on to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. That’s part of the point for Warner Bros. Not only does Nolan deliver at the box office, but his movies often garner awards season love as well, representing the best of both worlds. His most recent movie, Dunkirk, was met with widespread critical acclaim and earned $526 million worldwide, working from a $100 million budget.
Be that as it may, talking about a budget of more than $200 million is entering extremely risky territory. When coupled with a surely massive marketing spend, Warner Bros. is likely banking on this making at least $500 million worldwide to make it worth the investment, if not a lot more. So far, we’ve merely seen a teaser trailer for Tenet that was rather intriguing, but raised quite a few more questions than it answered. For now, all we truly know is that it’s an espionage thriller with a time-bending, sci-fi twist. Will that be enough to get moviegoers on board?
The cast includes John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, along with Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clemence Poesy, Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh. There are some rising stars in that group, like Pattinson, who is our new Batman for example, but Inception had Leonardo DiCaprio. In a marketplace that is increasingly reliant on recognizable franchises to deliver at the box office, Christopher Nolan is a true anomaly. He’s a brand all his own. Is that brand worth a $200 million investment? Time will tell. Tenet is set to hit theaters on July 17. This news comes to us via Variety.