Tenet star John David Washington admits he’s "surprised" director Christopher Nolan revealed clues about his twisty sci-fi thriller in its newest trailer debuted during a Fortnite event on Thursday. The latest film from the Inception and Dark Knight trilogy filmmaker revolves around one word — "Tenet" — bringing its so far unnamed Protagonist (Washington) through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time. Armed with just a word and told to use "Tenet" carefully as he races against time to prevent World War III, the Protagonist comes to understand "reversing the flow of time," even if that means current events never happened. But when an ally (Robert Pattinson) questions "time travel," the Protagonist corrects him: "No. Inversion."
"I was overwhelmed with joy, disbelief suspended in that," Washington told Geoff Keighley when reacting to the trailer revealed during the Fortnite event. "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. And I love that he did."
A fan of Nolan's, Washington added, "We're familiar with his films, but this seems like something different. Seems like this is where he's about to take us for the next 10, 15 years of filmmaking."
The latest Tenet trailer teases a threatening Russian national (Kenneth Branagh), talk of the ability to communicate with the future, and a teacher (Clémence Poésy) who informs the gun-wielding Protagonist that he's not firing a bullet — he's catching it.
As he's told by one figure (Martin Donovan), "Your duty transcends national interests. This is about survival."
Frequent Nolan collaborator Michael Caine previously admitted he's in the dark about Tenet, telling The Hindu, "All I had was one day's work and he gave me my [script] pages. I did my part and shot only with John David. I haven't heard anything since."
Star Aaron Taylor-Johnson, also a self-professed Nolan fan, is similarly tight-lipped.
"Working with Nolan is working with a legend. It's about being able to stand back and observe how his mind works. How he is, as a filmmaker, and how he puts his films together is quite extraordinary," Taylor-Johnson previously told Collider. "There's no expense spared. He's definitely trying to push the boundaries of cinema, in high concepts and sci-fi concepts, and the cinematic side of things is extraordinary to watch. It was a real honor and pleasure to be in his presence, and to work on that movie. But to be honest, there's nothing else I can really say about it."