Tenet: Chris Nolan Teases Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Mystery Role

Tenet is yet another Christopher Nolan movie that's draped in mystery - but thanks to Nolan himself, there's at least one mystery we can clear up. Avengers: Age of Ultron star Aaron Taylor-Johnson will be starring in Tenet, in a mysterious role that Nolan will only describe as one requiring that the Johnson look "completely unrecognizable" onscreen. We knew that Aaron Taylor-Johnson was starring in Tenet, as his name was included in the full casting breakdown for the film. However, Johnson has been totally absent from Tenet's trailers and marketing materials thus far, leading viewers to wonder: why is Nolan hiding him away?

EW did an entire breakdown on Chris Nolan's Tenet in its latest issue, helping to shine some much-needed light on the film. EW managed to visit the set on a day that Aaron Taylor-Johnson was filming a sequence with Tenet star John David Washington. Naturally, that led to questions during the interview with Nolan about why we haven't seen Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Tenet's marketing. Here's what Nolan had to say:

“Aaron Taylor-Johnson is indeed in the film. He’s an important part of the film. Yes, there are no photographs of him, this is true. He is briefly glimpsed in the [second] trailer. He’s also completely unrecognizable. There are all kinds of things that happen in terms of where the story goes as the film develops and where it winds up in the later stages that we don’t want to spoil for people."

For more hints, here is the scene featuring Washington and Johnson, which EW observed while on the Tenet set:

"On an expanse of dusty, sun-blasted terrain approximately 80 miles east of Palm Springs, an abandoned city of destroyed buildings and rubble has been constructed from scratch, a vast set populated by hundreds of extras in military camouflage uniforms. As the day progresses, and the temperature climbs, two of the film’s stars, John David Washington and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, repeatedly sprint down the road bifurcating the cityscape. Robert Pattinson, driving an armored military vehicle, is in hot pursuit; he’s followed by another truck holding both an IMAX camera and Nolan. "

Tenet Movie Aaron Taylor Johnson Mystery Role

Going back over Tenet's two trailers, there are a lot of possibilities to consider. We know that Washington's character gets initiated into some covert ops group by having to pass a "test" of seemingly being killed rather than give up info. The same scene gets shown a bit more in trailer #2, hinting that Washington's protagonist also has a partner who was not so lucky passing the Tenet test (Johnson?). Other brief clips suggest Johnson could be everything from a commanding soldier, to the mysteries masked man that seems to be one of the henchmen for Kenneth Branagh's villain character.

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Based on the scene EW observed, it wouldn't be surprising if Washington's character somehow used his time inversion powers to bring back his lost partner. It also wouldn't be too surprising to find out Robert Pattinson's cad of an agent was actually a double agent who flips sides, requiring Washington to get the kind of help he can trust.

Right now, Tenet is set for release in theaters and IMAX on July 31st.

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