Christopher Nolan's 'Tenet' Budget Is $205 Million Before Advertising Costs

According to multiple reports, Warner Bros. is shelling out 205 million clams for Christopher Nolan's Tenet – and that's not including all of the advertising money the studio will spend to get butts in seats for the film's release. But $200 million isn't what it used to be; though that may seem like a high budget, it's no longer enough to put the film in the rarified company of the most expensive movies ever made.

Variety and Collider both report that the Tenet budget sits at $205 million, which is a hefty chunk of change, but doesn't even make this Nolan's most expensive movie so far. (The Dark Knight Rises reportedly cost $230 million after tax credits.) Still, $205 million is an impressive amount for a movie that isn't based on a pre-existing piece of intellectual property – in the past few years, basically only superhero movies, Star Wars films, and Disney live action movies (including The Lion King, which isn't really live action) have been able to secure that much for a budget.

The mysteries of creative Hollywood accounting make it practically impossible to say with absolute certainty how much any movie truly costs to make, but can you guess what tops Wikipedia's list of the most expensive movies of all time? I assumed it might be either Avengers: Infinity War or Avengers: Endgame, but the correct answer is so much funnier than either of those things. Surprisingly, it's 2011's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, a movie that cost a staggering $379 million after tax credits. The hilarious part is that in terms of pop culture relevance, that movie might as well not even exist. When was the last time you heard anyone mention anything at all about the fourth Pirates movie?

As is often the case in the early stages of many Christopher Nolan movies, the plot of Tenet is still under lock and key – even with an officially-released trailer from the studio. Is it a time travel movie? We don't know! But Nolan has always been interested in playing with the depiction of time in his films, so it wouldn't be remotely surprising for him to lean even more into that angle in this one. The international espionage thriller stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth DebickiAaron Taylor-JohnsonClémence PoésyHimesh Patel, Dimple Kapadia, Kenneth Branagh, Martin Donovan, and Michael Caine.

Tenet hits theaters on July 17, 2020.