Tenet star John David Washington admits he asked "very patient" writer-director Christopher Nolan questions about the film's twisty story "every day" while filming. Like most films from the Inception director, Tenet unravels a non-linear narrative — this one involving characters capable of "reversing the flow of time" — and follows the unnamed Protagonist (Washington) as he manipulates seconds, minutes, and hours while armed with only code word "tenet" in his mission to prevent World War III. When a sharp-dressed professional (Robert Pattinson) asks about this method of "time travel," he's quickly corrected: the technical process is referred to as "inversion," and it's the key to preventing Armageddon.
"Every day I had questions for him. But he was very gracious, and he answered them very calmly and patiently," Washington told Geoff Keighley during a trailer reveal hosted on Fortnite. "It was important that the actors could track the story correctly so we could tell it the best way we could, and he was very patient with us. I say that very politely [laughs]."
Plot details remain closely guarded, but Washington hinted at revealing teases peppered throughout this latest trailer.
"Really, it's interesting, because there are just little nuggets of information and just breadcrumbs of information about the movie that I'm surprised [Nolan] was willing to reveal," Washington said. "And I love that he did."
"We're jumping off from the point of view of an espionage film, but we're going to a number of different places," the Interstellar and Dark Knight director said. "We're crossing a few different genres in a hopefully exciting and fresh way. [Producer] Emma [Thomas] and I have put together a lot of large-scale productions, but this is certainly the biggest in terms of international reach. We shot in seven countries, all over the place, with a massive cast and huge set pieces. There's no question, it's the most ambitious film we've made."
John David Washington is the new Protagonist in Christopher Nolan's original sci-fi action spectacle Tenet. Armed with only one word—Tenet—and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time. Not time travel. Inversion. The international cast of Tenet also includes Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, with Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh.