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Christopher Nolan reveals a Tenet Easter egg in Memento


Robert Pattinson and John David Washington in Tenet.
Melinda Sue Gordon

Christopher Nolan has somehow out-Christopher Nolaned himself, revealing a Tenet Easter egg in one of his films from two decades ago. The opening scene of his 2000 psychological neo-noir Memento contains a core concept from the sci-fi spy thriller: A bullet that looks like it's being caught by a gun.

"I had this notion of just a bullet getting sucked out of the wall and into the barrel of a gun," Nolan said in an interview with Complex (via Collider). "It's an image that I had in Memento to demonstrate the structure of that movie, but I always harbored this ambition to make a film where the characters had to deal with the physical reality of that. In a way, an idea comes to the fore when the time is right for it, and it's a hard process to quantify, so I was doing all these other things."

It took Nolan five years to write the screenplay for Tenet, but as he says, he deliberated its central ideas for over a decade. Tenet follows a secret agent who manipulates the flow of time, with scenes filmed both backward and forward. Memento follows a man with short-term memory loss, with scenes from his past shown in reverse order, as he tries to figure out what happened to him.

Here's the opening scene:

For multiple viewings to study all the time-bending madness, you can buy Tenet now on streaming platforms Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video and Google Play.