The James Bond Movie That Inspired ‘Tenet’ Director
If the new spy movie Tenet appears to bear some similarities to the James Bond series, that’s no mistake. Its director, Christopher Nolan, has long been known to be a 007 fan.
He recently credited the 10th Bond movie, The Spy Who Loved Me, as a groundbreaking moment in his life, and said that he’s spent a great deal of his career trying to capture the spirit of the Roger Moore classic.
Released in 1977, the blockbuster saw 007 embroiled in the case of missing nuclear submarines and forced to share his investigation with a Soviet agent as they fight against criminal tycoon Karl Stromberg and his henchman Jaws.
The movie turned the franchise’s fortunes around after several 007 films failed to hit the mark. At that time, Nolan was around seven years old; his own career wouldn’t begin until his debut feature Following – a crime thriller – was released in 1998.
Watch the ‘Tenet’ Trailer
“The first James Bond film I remember going to the cinema to see was The Spy Who Loved Me with Roger Moore,” Nolan said (via GamesRadar).
“That still is a great favorite of mine. ... What I remember, and what I’ve tried to retain from that experience, is the feeling of possibility that you could jump through that screen and go anywhere in the world and see the most amazing things. It had such scale and such possibilities, really. It was pure escapism and had an excellent sort of fantasy component to it, as well – you know, with the car that turns into a submarine, and all that stuff.”
Nolan added that he's "spent a lot of my career trying to get back to that feeling and trying to give that experience to audiences – to take you back to that sense of wonderment about the possibilities of what movies can do and where they can take you.”
The director noted that, like the Bond movies, being on location and delivering a sense of scale underlined the plot of Tenet, which opens in the U.S. this weekend. “That works twofold: It’s both escapism, and it’s both really allowing the audience to go to the cinema and have them be taken to places that they would never be able to go to in their ordinary lives – places that are extremely glamorous or extremely dangerous."
Watch ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ Trailer
He added that it "also informs the narrative, and it informs the stakes of the narrative, because what we’re dealing with Tenet, as in a classic, espionage film, is a threat to the entire world. And I think by showing more of the world, and more of the people of the world, in the film, you’re constantly reminded as an audience member of the scale of the threat. It’s not a localized threat. It’s something that threatens all of us around the world.”
Tenet is on course to be a major success following its recent U.K. opening, and the 25th Bond movie, No Time To Die, seems set to go the same way when it’s released in November.
At one point. Nolan was connected with directing Daniel Craig in his last outing as 007 but said that, as with his rumored association with previous Bond films, it wasn’t true.
“I’ve spoken to the producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson over the years,” he explained in 2017. “I deeply love the character, and I’m always excited to see what they do with it. Maybe one day that would work out. You’d have to be needed, if you know what I mean. It has to need reinvention, it has to need you. And they’re getting along very well [without me].”