Last Updated: June 21, 2020
Here’s everything we know about Christopher Nolan’s Tenet movie. In recent years, Nolan’s films have become events unto themselves, earning the director acclaim from critics and audiences. He’s been known to create original stories which are profound and thematically rich, often requiring repeat viewings so that the ideas he’s working stick with audiences. Tenet, it would seem, is going to follow in this tradition.
Tenet marks Nolan’s 11th feature film, following on the heels of 2017’s Dunkirk. Nolan is heading in a new direction, genre-wise, while still sharing a new vision with the world. He has assembled a new, diverse cast to help tell the Tenet story. One of the biggest details we learned early on came from the comments made by cast member Robert Pattinson, who shared in an April 2019 interview: “I got locked in a room to read the script – I don’t have it myself. I’ve been a little wary of doing big movies for years and years, but there’s just something about Chris Nolan’s stuff. He seems like the only director now who can do what is essentially a very personal, independent movie that has a huge scale. I read the script and it’s unreal.”
Tenet doesn’t release until summer 2020, but there are already some confirmed details regarding Nolan’s upcoming film. Here’s what we know so far about Tenet, including who’s been cast, when it will be released in theaters, and when we can expect to see the first trailer.
Nolan has assembled a large and talented cast for Tenet. There haven’t been any official character breakdowns released, but the marketing and trailer have given audiences something to go on. BlackKklansman star John David Washington leads the cast as a character literally named Protagonist that joins a secretive organization named Tenet, while future Batman actor Robert Pattinson plays an agent of that organization named Neil. Kenneth Branagh portrays a Russian villain who can communicate with the future, while Elizabeth Debicki (Widows) plays his estranged wife. Meanwhile Bollywood actor Denzil Smith plays a powerful arms dealer. Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, Himesh Patel, Martin Donovan, and Sean Avery have also been cast in roles that are unclear.
The Tenet cast is a mix of Nolan favorites and newcomers to the director’s universe. This will be Caine’s sixth time working with Nolan, having first starred in Batman Begins. Caine has appeared in every subsequent Nolan feature film through Dunkirk. Similarly, this is Branagh’s second time working with Nolan, having previously appeared in a central role in Dunkirk. As for the rest of the cast, this will be their first time working on one of Nolan’s films. This cast lineup is also unique because it’s the first time they’ve worked together on a film. All of the actors are skilled dramatic actors who are more than used to portraying characters surrounded by intense situations. Seeing how the chemistry develops between the cast will undoubtedly be one of the more exciting aspects of Tenet.
Tenet‘s story has been kept close to Nolan’s vest since the beginning, and even close to its summer release date, things are still pretty mysterious. What appears to be happening is that Protagonist begins working for the Tenet organization in order to try and stop some future catastrophe that would devastate the world. To do this, Protagonist must make use of something called time inversion, which Nolan explains as “this idea of material that has had its entropy inverted, so it’s running backwards through time, relative to us.” As usual though, moviegoers would be wise to expect little of Tenet to be what it first appears.
Tenet was originally set for release on July 17, 2020, and Warner Bros. stubbornly clung to that date for months, even though the Coronavirus pandemic had forced theaters to shut down. In June 2020, Tenet was finally delayed, although not very long, moving back two weeks to July 31. The delay not being longer reportedly comes down to Christopher Nolan really wanting Tenet to serve as a film that exemplifies the need for the theatrical experience, and a reason for possibly nervous moviegoers to once again patronize their local theaters. Currently, every major theater chain is set to reopen by mid-July, but with cases of the Coronavirus on the rise, one wonders if another delay will end up happening.
Embedded above is the most recent trailer for Tenet, which offers the most information interested viewers have received yet on time inversion and how exactly it works. It still doesn’t reveal that much though, as Nolan clearly wants audiences to go in with as little information as possible about the story and characters. Considering his track record of great films though, that likely won’t turn off many people.
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