Christopher Nolan’s Tenet has come unstuck in time.
The thriller, staring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson as agents of a mysterious organization that appears to be able to manipulate chronology, has been locked into its original July 17 release date throughout the coronavirus crisis, even as virtually all other Hollywood films abandoned the summer. But late Friday, on the very day movie theaters reopened in California, Warner Bros. confirmed the movie that was most expected to fill them has been delayed.
Tenet is now scheduled to debut two weeks later, on July 31, all around the world. It was followed by an array of other moves. Wonder Woman 1984 shifted back from its Aug. 14 release to Oct. 2, according to a tweet from star Gal Gadot. The monster mash-up Godzilla vs. Kong is moving from November to May 21, which was originally held by the fourth Matrix movie. That film, which halted in the midst of production, will fall back nearly a year to April 1, 2022. All of them are Warner Bros. titles.
In place of Tenet on July 17, Warner Bros. will re-release Nolan’s 2010 film Inception, hoping to prime moviegoers for a return later in the month for the new one. “It’s
been longer than any of us could’ve imagined since we’ve seen a movie on the big screen,” Warner Bros. chairman Toby Emmerich said in a statement.
He described Tenet as “a global tentpole of jaw-dropping size, scope and scale.”
John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theatre Owners, previously told Vanity Fair that he had been consulting with Nolan his wife and producing partner, Emma Thomas on a near-constant basis since the quarantine shutdown began, working toward a reopen that would be soon enough for the $200 million budgeted film to keep its date.
“I’m talking to Warner Brothers all the time. I talk to Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas about every week,” he said. “They’re huge supporters of the theatrical experience and they’re keeping track of what we’re doing. We’re all in this together, right? It’s not antagonistic, it’s just, when is it right for an individual theater company to open, when is it right for an individual studio to put their movie on the schedule? These are all calls made by informed decisions and a lot of data sharing.”
“These are people who care about movies, they care about the theatrical experience and we’re trying to find out what works best for everybody,” he added.
Today, the theater owners organization reacted to the delay with an upbeat but generic statement: “Over these last months we have been keeping Warner Bros. closely informed of our work towards reopening our theatres in accordance with governmental health and safety requirements, and we are looking forward to audiences enjoying Tenet in our theatres all around the world on July 31st.”