Nolan’s Tenet, the highly anticipated film directed by Christopher Nolan and starring George Clooney as billionaire businessman Tony Stark/Ironman and Batman as his bodyguard, opens in theaters today. This article will tell you about 10 things you need to know about the movie.
The official cast list for Nolan’s Tenet is as follows:
- George Clooney
- Matt Damon
- Frank Langella
- Bruno Salazar
- Bill Murray
- Michael Caine
- Tommy Lee Jones
- Jon Finch
- Jackie Shaffer
- Kurt J.W. Schroeder
- John Krasinski
- Tobias Mehler
- Ricky Nelson
- William Sadler
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt
- Cary Elwes
- Robert DeNiro
- Jonas Brothers
- Sebastian Stan
- Shia LaBeouf
- Channing Tatum
The film is a reunion of sorts for some of the biggest names in cinema. George Clooney, who plays billionaire businessman Tony Stark, is a former roommate of Christopher Nolan’s and their careers have crossed numerous times: before Ocean’s Eleven, before Out of Sight, and in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman. They were also both nominated for an Academy Award for their previous work together: 2007’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and 1989’s Batman.
Clooney is one of the most respected actors of his generation and has been nominated for an Academy Award 19 times, winning in 2004 for Best Actor for his role in Brokeback Mountain. He is also known for his philanthropic work, having founded the George Clooney Foundation with an estimated $500 million to date. After seeing his work in Ocean’s Eleven, Nolan approached Clooney about appearing in the studio’s next project. They made the movie back in 2007, but it wasn’t released until 2010.
Among others appearing in the film are Nolan favorites Matt Damon and Frank Langella, as well as John Krasinski (The Office, Joy) and Jackie Shaffer (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). We can’t forget about Bill Murray, who we last saw in 2012’s The Incredible Jessica Smiley, or Michael Caine, who turns 80 this year. He is best known for his role in the original version of Alarmist! The Musical! He plays the part of the Grandpa. Tommy Lee Jones is best known for his roles in No Country For Old Men and Tombstone, while Jon Finch, best known for his role in The Dark Knight Rises, plays a supporting role.
As previously mentioned, George Clooney is one of the main stars of Nolan’s Tenet. He plays billionaire founder and CEO of Stark Industries Tony Stark. Clooney has a long history in the film industry, beginning his career in the 60s, where he appeared in numerous adventure films, including The Hell With Hitler, Ride a Wild Pony, and Doctor Strangelove. His career took off in the late 70s and he was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in The Sugarland Express. Since then, he has appeared in many notable films, including Goodfellas, The Fugitive, Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, and recently, The Monuments Men.
When it comes to creating the Ironman suit portrayed in the film, Mark Bridges is primarily responsible. Bridges, an Australian who lives in Los Angeles, has previously worked as a visual effects supervisor on many films, including Tron: Legacy, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and the upcoming Han Solo film. He is also the co-founder of Atomic Fiction, a visual effects company in Australia, whose work you may have seen on screen in Mad Max: Fury Road or The Martian.
The movie opens with George Clooney’s Tony Stark trying to overcome a gambling addiction. However, his luck turns when he is given the chance to work for a brilliant engineer named Rhodes. Rhodes has built a body-switching device that he calls Ironman, which allows its users to assume the physical form of another person. While the technology is incredibly useful, it comes with its own set of problems. As Rhodes explains:
“When this device is switched on, it creates an electromagnetic field that connects the brains of two people. It’s a little bit like putting your brain in someone else’s body. It’s not something to fool around with. It’s a medical miracle, but not something to toy with.”
When Ironman is activated, it affects the nervous system of the person whose body is now occupied. In order to return to his own body, an experienced Ironman user must enter a coded sequence of buttons on his or her arm into a microchip located on the inside of the suit – like a fingerprint. This is similar to the procedure needed to deactivate the suit, which is why Tony Stark/Ironman has to learn how to use it correctly.
With these basics out of the way, we can now get into the meat of the matter: the story! After being discharged from the army, Robert McCall (Clooney) starts his own security company, which he names “Ironman.” After being approached by Rhodes, who creates a device that he dubs Ironman, McCall decides to give it a try. What ensues is an action-adventure story that kicks off with McCall assuming the form of the titular character and going to work for Rhodes at his Los Angeles-based technology company. Here, they develop the Ironman suit, which allows its users to assume the physical form of another person. When a user wears the suit and enters the correct sequence of numbers on their arm, they can then take control of the body. The story then flashes back to a few months earlier, when McCall first gained the ability to assume the form of another human: Rhodes. Following his doctor’s orders to get some fresh air, Rhodes takes a stroll around his luxurious estate, where he finds himself pondering the events that led to his creation of the Ironman suit. He eventually decides to make a video diary, which he posts to his website (http://www.ironman.com/).
The story follows the events of this diary, which serves as an important bookend to the film, as the bulk of the action takes place after these entries. Although we don’t get to read it, we get to see it on screen as a narrator (Tobey Maguire) reads from Rhodes’s blog posts, which include sketches, diagrams, and photographs from his diary. This is a novel way for Nolan and Co. to reveal the backstory to their creation, beyond the printed word.
While in Rhodes’s employ, McCall becomes increasingly troubled by the dark side of his new found power. It’s eventually revealed that Rhodes is grooming McCall to be his successor, as Rhodes’s company is on the verge of going public. When this happens, he’ll need somebody to run the company for him. Because of his involvement in the Holocaust and as a result of his new found abilities, Tony Stark is chosen to be the next in line to assume control of the company. As he explains:
“One of the reasons why I was chosen is because I’ve been there. I’ve fought in war. I’ve seen people get hurt. And for some reason, it doesn’t freak me out. It’s the same with this device. I’m not scared of it. I know what it can do. But I also know the good it’s brought me. People call me Mr. Ironman now. It’s a good name.
“One day, someone is going to come along and try to kill me. And when they do, I want to be able to say ‘you should’ve seen the other guy.’ Then I’ll pull off my bracelet and enter the numbers into the microchip. And I’ll be Ironman again.”