Initially, it seemed that Warner Brothers refused to flinch when it came to the release of Christopher Nolan’s tentpole ‘Tenet’, a time-warping movie starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson. In the face of COVID-19 shutdowns, WB seemed adamant that ‘Tenet’ would make its July 17 opening date. But just over two weeks ago, the decision was made to delay its release until July 31. Now, the studio has shifted it further back to August 12.
In a statement, WB declared:
“In this moment what we need to be is flexible, and we are not treating this as a traditional movie release. We are choosing to open the movie mid-week to allow audiences to discover the film in their own time, and we plan to play longer, over an extended play period far beyond the norm, to develop a very different yet successful release strategy.”
In addition to postponing ‘Tenet’s release, the studio has also delayed the 10th-anniversary re-release of Nolan’s ‘Inception’ from July 17 to July 31.
‘Tenet’s production budget was reportedly $200 million, so WB needs it to do well in order to recoup the cost, but attempts to open movie theaters in various parts of the world have so far failed as the coronavirus continues to spread among large gatherings of people. In the US, the major theater chains are moving toward reopening within the next few months, with social distancing enforced by under-selling seats and enforcing mask rules.
The plot to ‘Tenet’ is a bit of a mystery, although Nolan and the cast have stressed that it isn’t about time travel, even though time manipulation seems to play a major role. In addition to Washington and Pattinson, the cast includes Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, with Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh.
‘Tenet’ will now open on August 12.