Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, released this statement about the twisty, “don’t call it time travel” big budget blockbuster from the acclaimed auteur, which has been holding onto its July 17 date even during other studios shuffling all their release dates in response to the coronavirus pandemic:
We’re especially thrilled, in this complex and rapidly changing environment, to be bringing Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet,’ a global tentpole of jaw-dropping size, scope and scale, to theaters around the world on July 31. It’s been longer than any of us could’ve imagined since we’ve seen a movie on the big screen, and to acknowledge Chris’ fans as we count down to ‘Tenet’’s opening day, we are also excited to offer his masterpiece ‘Inception’ in theaters for its 10th anniversary on July 17.
The two-week delay is a bit of a puzzler, Inception relevance notwithstanding. Movie theaters in California and other states have started being given the go ahead to open up, though with cautious safety protocols and capacity requirements (well, not all chains are gonna abide by that). The National Alliance of Theater Owners predicts that 90% of theaters worldwide will be open by mid-July. But well-warranted caution still abounds regarding public safety in high risk areas like movie theaters, resulting in many of them staying closed. I would understand a complete shift of the film to, say, the fall or winter when we have more confidence in our answers. But two weeks? Does Nolan and Warner Bros. think we’ll have everything together in two weeks? Is “end of July” better than “middle of July”? I suppose technically, by two whole weeks. Maybe Nolan has used his own film’s technique to see we’re all better by then.
John David Washington stars in the time-travel (sorry, inversion) spy caper alongside Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Himesh Patel, Clémence Poésy, Dimple Kapadia, Fiona Dourif, Wes Chatham, Martin Donovan, and, naturally, Michael Caine. Nolan and wife Emma Thomas produced the film under their Syncopy banner, while Hoyte Van Hoytema and Ludwig Göransson served as cinematographer and composer, respectively. And while I am just as excited about the film as any other potential filmgoer, I insist to everyone reading: Please exercise safety and caution before making any decision.
For more on all things Tenet, here’s everything we know about the plot so far, and here’s the latest trailer.