Updated July 28, 2020: After being moved around on the release calendar multiple times, Christopher Nolan's Tenet has found an official release date, and Warner Bros. is hoping that this premiere sticks.
Variety reports that the Robert Pattinson and John David Washington-led project has been rescheduled and will officially make its international debut on August 26. However, stateside audiences will have to wait a little while longer to uncover the mystery behind the highly anticipated film; Tenet will premiere in select cities around the United States days later on Thursday, September 3.
The staggered release of the film comes as a result of the varying re-openings of movie theaters around the world. Although countries like Italy, Germany, Cuba, and Japan are slowly opening up public places for crowds to visit (while still maintaining social distancing), the U.S. has struggled to keep its coronavirus cases low, and lockdowns have persisted as a result. But Warner Bros. is hoping that the numbers will be better by the time Tenet is released so it will not have to join the likes of many other would-be summer blockbusters that have been pushed to the winter and even 2021. Perhaps it will be the first big movie of the summer, and we'll finally be able to figure out what the hell is going on with Washington on that train track — fingers crossed.
This story was originally published on July 20, 2020.
First looks at Tenet, which stars Robert Pattinson, John David Washington, and Elizabeth Debicki, hint that the mysterious film might be the perfect marriage between the intrigue of Inception and The Matrix and the action sequences of a Bond movie. But with time travel or alternate universes or...something. No one's been able to put their finger on the premise of the new Christopher Nolan film — not even its leading man — and it looks like the plot will remain a mystery for the foreseeable future. The debut of the star-studded project has been pushed back yet again, but this time, nobody knows exactly when it will be released.
A report from Variety revealed that Tenet has been quietly removed from the release calendar of Warner Bros., a sign that it won't be hitting theaters or VOD anytime soon. The film was initially slated to be released in early July, but the company pushed its theater debut back to August until eventually deciding to table it until further notice.
"We will share a new 2020 release date imminently for Tenet, Christopher Nolan’s wholly original and mind-blowing feature,” said Warner Bros. chairman Toby Emmerich in an official statement. “Our goals throughout this process have been to ensure the highest odds of success for our films while also being ready to support our theater partners with new content as soon as they could safely reopen."
However, the delay might occur stateside; global audiences will likely get to see the film in theaters as the rest of the world experiences decreased COVID-19 cases.
"We are not treating Tenet like a traditional global day-and-date release," explained Emmerich. "And our upcoming marketing and distribution plans will reflect that."
Tenet's rescheduling and indefinite postponement are a reflection of the crisis that the film industry is currently facing. As coronavirus cases continue to increase aggressively across the country, movie theaters have been forced to shut down, leaving distributors to think long and hard about what's in the pipeline. Highly anticipated films like the Mulan live action remake and Black Widow have been stalled out of concern that people won't flock to their local theaters because of the pandemic, and other releases have underperformed even with their on-demand availability.
In the age of the coronavirus, there is no summer blockbuster — just a lineup of films that won't make much sense when they're released in the winter. Summer is for superheroes (Wonder Woman 1984), super spies (No Time to Die), and our new Batman brooding into the distance and possibly controlling time. But that's not happening anymore. Welcome to our new normal, I guess.