Christopher Nolan: 10 things you never knew about the Tenet director

This summer, Christopher Nolan presents his new movie Tenet, a typically twisty story of time inversion.

What's that, you ask? Well, no-one can definitively answer that yet, bar Nolan himself and the filmmakers. Suffice it to say, the movie looks utterly spectacular, shot on IMAX and ultra-widescreen in a variety of global locations on a huge budget ($225 million).

John David Washington and Robert Pattinson lead an excellent cast that also includes Kenneth Branagh and Michael Caine. So, in anticipation of Tenet's release this summer (we hope), here are 10 fun facts you may not have known about Nolan.


1. Owing to his British father and American mother, Nolan's upbringing was split between London and Illinois in the USA, and he has dual citizenship.

2. Nolan's uncle was a NASA engineer and sent him some footage of the Apollo rockets, which Nolan later repurposed in a stop-motion Star Wars homage called Space Wars.

3. Nolan studied English Literature at UCL and at the same time used the college's facilities to make his first first short films, including Larceny and Doodlebug.

4. Nolan and his brother Jonathan came up with the idea for Memento while on a cross-country American drive from Chicago to Los Angeles.

5. His wife Emma Thomas is also his production partner, and together they run Syncopy Pictures, which has partnered with distributor Warner Bros to release all of Nolan's films from Batman Begins (2005) onwards.

6. Nolan is a huge fan of low-rent Saturday Night Live spin-off movie MacGruber, saying there are scenes that leave him "howling with laughter".

7. In fact, Nolan has thrown his support behind the upcoming MacGruber TV series, sending the following email to the makers: "Though I can’t be there in person to watch you take the first step of your odyssey — know that my spirit soars with you, and whilst it’s perhaps unfair to add to the great sense of responsibility you must already feel, I am duty-bound to tell you—the world is waiting, the world is watching."

8. Nolan is red-green colour blind, saying: "I can barely see shades of purple".

9. The director is famous for carrying a flask of Earl Gray tea around with him on set – Michael Caine observed during the making of Batman Begins: "The thing about Chris, he always has this coat, with a flask of tea in it, and he drinks this tea all day long."

10. He wrote a Howard Hughes movie and wanted Jim Carrey to star, but Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio got there first with The Aviator: "I was definitely like, f*ck. I think it’s the best script I’ve ever written, and I had a really wonderful experience writing it."


Tenet is scheduled for release on 12th August 2020. Got some fun Christopher Nolan facts of your own? Share them with us @Cineworld.