While the majority of studios moved swiftly to push back their releases into 2021, or even forego a theatrical release in favour of PVOD or streaming, Warner Bros. remained steadfast in its plans to bring Christopher Nolan’s Tenet to cinemas this past summer, coronavirus be damned.
Prior to its release, Nolan’s film found itself tagged as the ‘saviour of cinema’, with hopes that Tenet would kickstart moviegoing following the first of this year’s lockdowns. However, that didn’t turn out to be the case, the $200 million blockbuster grossing just $361 million worldwide and setting of a chain reaction of delays and scheduling shuffles which culminated in Warner’s shock announcement that all of its 2021 slate will premiere on HBO Max day and date with their theatrical releases.
Speaking to The Washington Post to coincide with Tenet’s home entertainment release Nolan – who recently spoke out to slam WarnerMedia for the HBO Max move – has downplayed his involvement with the decision to bring the sci-fi thriller to cinemas, stating that Warner Bros. was ultimately responsible for the move.
“The studio made the decision to release the film in the summer in parts of the world where it was safe to open the film because of the response to the pandemic in those individual countries,” said Nolan. “And I think they made a good decision. A lot of people got to see the film. A lot of people went back to work and all the rest and were able to safely do that. [The United States] is a different story. Hollywood filmmaking is a global business. It’s not an American-only business. And I think it’s very important for people to look beyond where they are sitting in the world and look at what’s going on in the rest of the world as well, and be mindful of that.”
Armed with only one word – Tenet – and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real-time. Not time travel. Inversion.
Tenet sees Christopher Nolan directing a cast that includes John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh.