Christopher Nolan Clears The Air Over Tenet’s Logo Plagiarism Accusations

I hate to break it to you, but it turns out that everyone’s a fraud. According to reports, Lady Gaga stole melodies from Madonna’s ‘Express Yourself’ to make ‘Born This Way’, J.K. Rowling apparently borrowed heavily from a book called The Adventures of Willy the Wizard, and literally every damn comedian on the planet has accused Amy Schumer of stealing jokes from literally every damn comedian on the planet.

I can’t judge – I’m stealing Mark Kermode’s shtick right now.

Even critically-acclaimed directors, such as Christopher Nolan, are subjected to allegations of plagairism.

A bike parts store, coincidentally named Tenet, was opened in 2018. This was their logo.

Two years later, and Christopher Nolan’s what-the-fuck thriller, Tenet, is due for release, using this logo.

As you can see, both logos seem pretty similar – from the name, to the font colour, to the upside-down ‘ET’ at the end.

(The last time I saw an upside-down ET was when I got smashed with that Extra-Terrestrial.)

Tyler, who started the bike company, and discussed his fears that others may believe he was merely ripping off Nolan in order to gain some attention, then received a letter.

As in a hand-written letter; not just, like, the letter Q, or something. I was pausing for dramatic effect. Could you not work that out?

CANNES, FRANCE – MAY 12: Director Christopher Nolan attends the Rendezvous With Christopher Nolan photocall during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 12, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)

Director of Inception, The Dark Knight and Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan wrote to Tyler to apologise for any similarities between their two logos.

Dear Tyler,

Warners just showed me the logo for your company, so I wanted to reach out directly and reassure you that our logo was arrived at without reference to yours. I know this because I designed ours myself, evolving it over the last six years, driven by a fascination with the symmetries of a word which is central to my story and its themes. I thought I’d done something unique – but clearly you were driven by the same creative impulse. I guess lightning can strike twice, and obviously I understand that you would not want anyone thinking that you had been inspired by our movie’s title treatment – feel free to quote me in shooting such misunderstandings down. I love our logo so I hope you won’t feel this is necessary, but if you like, I can stop using it since it seems you went public with yours first. 

Yours respectfully.

Chris Nolan

There’s no denying that this is a classy move from Nolan, during what must be a hectic, stressful time for both him personally and professionally.

Tyler has suggested that Nolan simply uses a different font, in order to make it look distinctly different, and has asked that Warner Bros. issue a statement separating the two properties.

He then ended his statement by praising the director, and citing his movies as “some of [his] favourite films.”

Dear Chris,

I apologize for my delay in responding. It came at a very busy time as you can imagine with the holidays and all. This time gave me a moment to reflect on everything that has transpired. First of all, thank you for sending that kind letter. It truly means a lot that you would take the time to address my concerns personally, and I hope that we can reach a mutually agreeable solution.

Since founding my company, I have invested significant time, financial resources, and creative energy in developing the Tenet brand to ensure my company’s growth and success. Due to the similarity of our logos, I am concerned that customers will mistakenly think that my products are related to the film or that I copied the logo even though I independently conceived it before the movie was announced. My biggest hurdle is that I cannot be present for every first impression with my brand, and I have already had experiences with people thinking that my brand is associated with the movie. It’s clear that you’re equally as passionate about your life’s work so I trust that you will understand my position.  

I have a couple proposed solutions that would hopefully allow both of us to use the logo while mitigating the risk of confusion. First, in your email, you mentioned that you would be willing to stop using the logo since my use went public first. Rather than stop using your logo altogether, for future uses, would you be willing to simply use a different font or stylization that would make your logo more distinct from mine? Second, a short press release from you and Warner Bros. stating that the film and my brand are unrelated and that my use of the Tenet logo is independent from and preceded the announcement for the movie would help minimize customer confusion. The press release could be posted on our respective websites, and I would also send it to publications in the biking industry. I would be happy to put together a first draft for your review.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response. I am a longtime fan of your work and have a strong degree of respect for your creativity. I wish you the greatest success with this film, and hope our paths may cross one day. 

All the best, 

Tyler

Don’t mind me, now – I’m going to start a chippy called ‘Indiana Jones 5’, and hope that I can get an iMessage from Spielberg as our logos look similar. Wish me luck.

Leave a Reply