As a filmmaker, Christopher Nolan is famously for staying loyal to a close-knit crew of people. However, for his new movie Tenet, Nolan is shaking things up a bit.
Although the likes of cinematographer Hoye van Hoytema (Interstellar; Dunkirk) and production designer Nathan Crowley (The Prestige; The Dark Knight) are working on Tenet, there are several new faces joining the team.
Here, then, is our blog list of the exciting actors and crew members set to revitalise the Nolan template.
1. The actors: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Dimple Kapadia, Himesh Patel, Clemence Poesy
Only two members of Tenet's ensemble have worked with Nolan before: Kenneth Branagh and Michael Caine. The former plays a diabolical Russian national who can "communicate with the future". And the latter, a favourite of Nolan's, appears to play some sort of contact who puts John David Washington's hero onto Branagh's trail. Caine has appeared on screen in all of Nolan's films barring Following, Memento, Insomnia and Dunkirk.
Washington, who electrified in Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, leads a superlative cast of Nolan newcomers. He's joined by The Lighthouse's Robert Pattinson, soon to be our new Batman, who has confessed to being confused by the plot.
Then we have Widows' Elizabeth Debicki, Kick-Ass' Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bollywood star Dimple Kapadia, Yesterday breakout Himesh Patel and In Bruges' Clemence Poesy. It's a star-studded ensemble of international faces, which reinforces the global scope of Nolan's latest epic.
2. The composer: Ludwig Goransson
In 2019, composer Ludwig Goransson made history by winning the Best Original Score Oscar for Black Panther. His score was the first comic book soundtrack to ever win the prize – not even John Williams managed that back in 1978 with his rousing fanfare for Superman.
It demonstrated how important Goransson's music was to the tapestry of Wakanda. An experimental musician and regular collaborator with Childish Gambino, Goransson melded the styles of east and west in the Black Panther score. This played into the heart of the film's themes, championing the vibrancy and culture of Wakanda, while also mixing it with the heroic conventions of the standard superhero score.
One can only imagine how Nolan has pushed him on Tenet. The director usually works with Hans Zimmer (and before that David Julyan), but Zimmer departed Tenet in favour of Denis Villeneuve's Dune. Given Goransson's melodic and groundbreaking sensibilities, we can't wait to hear how he musically captures the nuances of "time inversion".
3. The editor: Jennifer Lame
Nolan's regular editor Lee Smith, with whom he's worked since 2005's Batman Begins, has also given way on Tenet. The Oscar-winning Smith's work has most recently been seen during acclaimed World War I movie 1917, directed by Sam Mendes.
Nolan now sets up a partnership with Jennifer Lame, whose sharp eye for claustrophobia and menace was put to excellent use on 2018's Hereditary. Directed by Ari Aster, the film was a breakout horror hit with a memorable central performance from Toni Colette, forgoing gore in favour of an escalating atmosphere of dread.
Lame's ruthlessly effective editing emphasised wide shots of people framed in rooms – making it look like the characters were helplessly encased within a doll's house, a critical aspect of the movie. Lame has also been deployed on more sensitive, emotional material like Manchester by the Sea and Marriage Story, so we can't wait to see how the different facets of her editorial style are deployed on Tenet.
4. The sound mixer: Kevin O'Connell
Sound is critical to the world of Nolan's movies, from the terrifying encroaching drone of the Stuka bombers in Dunkirk, to the roar of the Batpod in the Dark Knight trilogy. Nolan aims for total immersion, engulfing us in waves of noise that are further amplified by his reliance on bass-heavy music. (It remains to be seen how Ludwig Goransson will respond in this instance.)
And we can certainly expect Tenet's sound design to be rich and absorbing because the movie has enlisted one of the greatest sound mixers around. Kevin O'Connell has received 18 Oscar nominations throughout the course of a 40-year career, and won an Academy Award for his intricate work on Mel Gibson war movie Hacksaw Ridge.
O'Connell's remarkable run of films includes Terms of Endearment, Top Gun, Spider-Man, Transformers, Little Women and Jumanji: The Next Level. How will he sonically render the world of Tenet with its disregard for the laws of time and physics? We can only imagine.