Earlier today came the news that Christopher Nolan's Tenet has had its release date delayed once again by Warner Bros. The major difference this time is that instead of being pushed back a couple of weeks to a new date, the film has been removed from WB's release calendar entirely, effectively delaying its release indefinitely. In a series of statements the studio reiterated their intention to release the film when things are safe and secure for audiences to enjoy it, however Warner Bros. chairman Toby Emmerich said in a statement. “We are not treating Tenet like a traditional global day-and-date release, and our upcoming marketing and distribution plans will reflect that.” Could this mean Tenet will debut internationally when American theaters aren't open?
Variety reported that that the studio is maintaining flexibility in their plans for Tenet, but that "there’s a chance it could launch internationally prior to a domestic release" since theaters in other countries are able to open up. Vulture on the other hand reports that WB and Nolan considered this plan before but that the filmmaker shot down the idea. It's unclear if the Oscar nominee will change his mind but WB says they'll "share a new 2020 release date imminently" for the film.
“Our goals throughout this process have been to ensure the highest odds of success for our films while also being ready to support our theater partners with new content as soon as they could safely reopen,” Emmerich said. “We’re grateful for the support we’ve received from exhibitors and remain steadfast in our commitment to the theatrical experience around the world. Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to proliferate, causing us to reevaluate our release dates.”
News of this delay shouldn't come as a major surprise since three weeks ago came word that studios were "nervous about August" and would be reassessing their release plans after the July 4th holiday. That report called out Tenet and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It specifically, both of which were officially delayed today by the studios. In the time since that report the number of daily coronavirus cases in the US have continued to rise, especially in major film markets and population areas like California, Texas, and Florida.
Tenet stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, with Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh. In the face of its many delays, Christopher Nolan has maintained that the film is designed for the big screen experience, painting the possibility of an early digital release as incredibly unlikely.