‘Tenet’ is a science-fiction action-thriller film by Christopher Nolan that re-imagines the concept of time. An unnamed CIA operative, Protagonist (John David Washington), is hired by a mysterious organization called Tenet to prevent a Russian oligarch, Andrei Sator (Kenneth Branagh), from starting World War III. The film follows a global assignment that takes the viewers to spectacular locations across the world. One cannot help but be curious to know more about the sites that feature in the film. Well, the list of global filming locations for ‘Tenet’ is interesting, so buckle up for this ride!
Tenet Filming Locations
‘Tenet’ was filmed in seven countries: Estonia, Denmark, India, Italy, Norway, England, and the USA. Principal photography began on May 19, 2019, and lasted for almost six months before it wrapped up on November 12, 2019. Let us take you through the details!
Tallinn is the capital of Estonia and is located in the northern part of the country. The Kumu Art Museum in Tallinn stands in for the fictional Oslo Freeport. The car chase scenes were filmed at the Laagna Highway, Paarnu Road, and the surrounding areas. Several sequences were filmed with cars moving both forward and in reverse. To shoot these sequences, highly specialized drivers were assembled from California, Estonia, Prague, and the U.K.
tb to when they were filming Tenet here in estonia pic.twitter.com/L0CETyRCk9
— annaliisa (@boyntonptx) July 27, 2020
Many famous landmarks in and around the city of Tallinn feature in ‘Tenet.’ Some of them are Maarjamäe Memorial, Liivalaia Courthouse (former Harju county court building), Linnahall, and Hilton Tallinn Park Hotel. Scenes were also filmed at Paljassaare Harbour, Kopli Rail Freight Terminal, and Telliskivi Creative City. Muuga Harbour doubles for a port in Denmark for the scene where the Protagonist finds himself on a ship in the middle of an offshore wind farm.
Lolland is the fourth largest island of Denmark and is also known as the “pancake island” because of its flat topography. In the film, the Protagonist is taken to the “Wermuth-Bygningen Building” after waking up on the boat following the suicide pill that he swallows.
Although the scene where he is put ashore is actually in Estonia, the turbine where he temporarily stays, is the Nysted Wind Farm. Sequences were also filmed at sea on an icebreaker ship, near Rødbyhavn, a small town on the south coast of the island.
The film was shot for five days at various locations in Mumbai. Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai or is the commercial capital of India and the home to the Bollywood film industry. Most of the scenes were filmed in the southern part of the city, specifically in the area in and around Colaba. Cafe Mondegar and the Colaba Causeway Market feature in the movie, both of which are at walking distance from the famous Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and the Gateway of India.
— Absolutely Rob (@sweenypowl) September 22, 2019
Forty boats were brought to be positioned near the Gateway of India. The scene where the Protagonist is talking to Priya on a boat was also filmed there. Several sequences were also filmed at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club, Breach Candy Hospital, and Grant Road.
An administrative region in southwestern Italy, Campania features in numerous productions and is home to 10 of the 55 UNESCO sites in Italy. Amalfi Coast is one of the most recognizable locations in the area where several sequences were filmed. Infinity Terrace at the Villa Cimbrone Hotel features in the film as the place where Kat and Protagonist are having a conversation. You may remember it as ‘Themyscira’ in the 2017 film, ‘Wonder Woman.’
Scenes involving Andrei Sator’s luxury yacht is the super-yacht Planet Nine, which measures over 240 feet long. Although it does have a helipad, it could not accommodate the helicopter seen in the film. Therefore an expert was hired to make it hover very low to look like it touched down. Scenes were also filmed in various parts of the resort town of Ravello. Via Richard Wagner appears in the scene where the Protagonist is walking to Sator’s dinner, which was filmed at the terrace of Belmond Hotel Caruso.
The capital city of Norway was used for filming a few scenes in the film. The roof on which the Protagonist explains to Neil the significance of what they are about to do was filmed on the roof of the Oslo Opera House in the Bjørvika neighborhood. The roof is accessible to the public and offers panoramic views of the city.
— ᴊᴀᴄᴋ (@battinsonwayne) September 5, 2019
The scene where Neil introduces the Protagonist to Mahir was shot at Olav Salvaag’s place. The three associates also meet up at The Thief Hotel in the neighborhood of Tjuvholmen. This artsy neighborhood used to be the stomping grounds for smugglers and thieves.
Fascinating places in London served as filming locations for this movie. One such place is the ‘Cannon Hall School’ in the film, which is actually not a school but the former home of Gerald du Maurier, Daphne du Maurier’s (author of ‘Rebecca’) father. The mansion is called Cannon Hall and is located at 14 Cannon Place in Hampstead.
— Elizabeth Debicki Source (@EdebickiSource) August 27, 2019
A fight sequence between the Protagonist and some goons takes place at the restaurant, Locanda Locatelli. Reform Club and National Liberal Club (‘Shipley’s Auction House’) in London also served as filming locations for the movie. Other places in England that feature in the film are Berkeley Mews and Southampton.
Warner Brothers Studios, now known as Sunset Bronson Studios at 5800 Sunset Boulevard, L.A., was used for filming several indoor sequences. The time conversion room and the Hypocenter were filmed on a sound stage in the studio. The studio facilities were first constructed in 1919, and is the site of the first talkie film ‘The Jazz Singer’ in 1927. The Hawthorne Plaza Shopping Center is a shut-down mall that was transformed as an interior set for the icebreaker and shipping container.
You will be surprised by how they created the plane crash sequence! One of the unique aspects of the film is that it hardly uses visual effects. This means that a Boeing 747 was purchased only to be crashed into a hangar. This proved to be more cost-effective than using miniatures or CGI. Southern California Logistics Airport was the site for shooting this scene. Several significant scenes were filmed at the ghost town of Eagle Mountain in Riverside County. Interestingly, it was not just the stunts that had to be performed backward, but the main cast also had to learn to speak in reverse!
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