Earlier this week came the official news from Warner Bros. Pictures that Christopher Nolan's Tenet has been delayed indefinitely. As opposed to previous delays in the film's theatrical release, the new movie has been pulled from WB's release schedule entirely with no official date in sight. This update was seemingly a reflection of Tenet's planned release in the United States as coronavirus cases continue to surge domestically, with WB noting in a statement that the film will have a non-traditional release startegy and could debut internationally before being released in the US. For international exhibitors however, this is a major question mark as they're reportedly uncertain if the film will be released in their markets on August 12 as the studio originally slated.
All this comes from a new report on Deadline where sources for the three major theater chains in the UK are not only skeptical of Tenet's release date but how it could effect their own plans for re-opening. Theater chains Cineworld and Vue are reportedly set to open on July 31 with plans for older titles to be released for viewers to watch ahead of Tenet's debut. Should the Nolan film be pushed from the U K release however, the chains might not even open up on their end-of-the-month date as planned.
“We will share a new 2020 release date imminently for Tenet, Christopher Nolan’s wholly original and mind-blowing feature,” 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.”
Emmerich continued, “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. 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.”
WB has already said they will "share a new 2020 release date imminently" for the film, this coupled with their intent to treat it as a non-traditional release across markets has left a lot of uncertainty in the air for UK exhibitors. These theaters remain on edge for WB's plans but it remains to be seen when the studio will officially announce their intentions for the movie. One report revealed WB might be planning an August 26 debut for the film internationally, but the studio has yet to confirm it. Should this come to pass it might mean UK theaters may not open until mid-August.
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.