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.
Every Tenet Cast Member
Nolan has assembled a large and talented cast for Tenet. BlackKklansman star John David Washington and Robert Pattinson (Good Time) are some notable leading cast members. Additional cast members include Elizabeth Debicki (Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Godzilla), Michael Caine (Inception), Kenneth Branagh (Dunkirk), and Clémence Poésy (In Bruges). No character names or breakdowns have been released so it's unclear how each of the actors will relate to one another in Tenet.
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.
The Tenet Story
The Tenet story details are minimal but there's enough available to get a decent sense of what to expect. The first clue is the synopsis, which currently reads as: "An action epic evolving from the world international espionage." We also know that Tenet will shoot in several countries, including the UK, Estonia, India, and Italy. It's unclear how these countries connect to the story but it does uphold the international element. It's hard not to see some ties to Inception in this regard, especially with Tenet's shared international scope and the element of espionage. With all this in mind, covert operations could likely figure into the story. Nolan has yet to wade outright into the spy thriller genre, so this will be new territory to see explored through his lens.
There have been suggestions that Tenet will somehow involve the space-time continuum. This is hardly surprising considering Nolan is an intellectual director who has played around with linear time in past films, including Inception but also Interstellar and Batman Begins to varying degrees. Another mind-bending element to Tenet is its logo which was previewed in a leaked photo from the set. The photo shows that the "TEN" in Tenet are right-side-up while the "ET" are upside-down. This could certainly relate back to the rumored space-time element of the film. The logo could possibly hint at a turning of the tables (this is a film about espionage, after all) or another twist involved in the Tenet story. It's also worth noting that the word tenet refers to a principle or belief, and it's a palindrome, which could work into the film's logo.
The Release Date For Tenet
Tenet will be released on July 17, 2020. July has been a favorable month for Nolan, historically speaking. Dunkirk released July 21, 2017; Inception on July 16, 2010; The Dark Knight on July 18, 2008; and The Dark Knight Rises on July 20, 2012 All of these films secured critical acclaim for Nolan, nominations for major awards, and big box office grosses - or a combination of all three. Setting a July release date for Tenet belies Nolan's ambitions to once again serve up a profitable, original film.
Even though Tenet has a prime summer release date, it will still have some midsummer competition at the 2020 box office. The first two weekends in July 2020 will see the release of Free Guy starring Ryan Reynolds, Minions 2, the Jason Reitman-directed Ghostbusters 2020 sequel, The Purge 5, and a feature film based on the hit TV series Bob's Burgers. These July 2020 releases cover an array of genres that will encroach on the potential Tenet audience. Auspicious release date aside, Tenet's marketing team will likely have to do some of the heavy lifting to promote it and to ensure it's a success when it finally arrives in theaters.
When The Tenet Trailer Will Debut
The Tenet trailer release date has yet to be confirmed, officially speaking. There is a chance the trailer could be arriving before the end of 2019. A teaser, however, could debut ahead of Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw or The Kitchen. Nolan's last two films - Interstellar and Dunkirk - both had announcement teasers come out one year ahead of their respective release dates. A teaser trailer for Interstellar, narrated by Matthew McConaughey, debuted in December 2013, while an announcement teaser for Dunkirk played in front of Suicide Squad in August 2016. So a teaser trailer coming out in August for Tenet would fall in line with the latter film.
- Tenet (2020) release date: Jul 17, 2020