October 1, 2020

Tenet movie release delayed again due to coronavirus

John David Washington with Elizabeth Debicki in Tenet Image copyright Warner Bros
Image caption John David Washington stars in Tenet alongside Elizabeth Debicki (seated)

Warner Bros has said it is indefinitely delaying the release of Christopher Nolan’s latest movie Tenet due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The fantasy spy epic was originally set to debut on 17 July but this was pushed back to 12 August.

Tenet was expected to be the first big-budget Hollywood film to be released in US cinemas during the summer.

But the studio said it would be re-evaluating its release date “amidst all this continued uncertainty.”

It also suggested that it might consider releasing the film in overseas markets before the US.

“We are not treating Tenet like a traditional global day-and-date release, and our upcoming marketing and distribution plans will reflect that,” said Toby Emmerich, chairman of the studio’s Pictures Group.

Mr Emmerich said that a release date would be shared “imminently.”

Tenet focuses on a protagonist, played by John David Washington, trying to save the world from disaster. Its other stars include Robert Pattinson and Sir Kenneth Branagh.

British director Christopher Nolan’s other films include Inception, Interstellar and the Oscar-winning World War II film Dunkirk. He also directed the three films in the so-called Dark Knight trilogy – Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.

The delay of Tenet’s release comes as coronavirus shutdowns continue to devastate the film industry.

In the face of rising infections and deaths, cinemas in New York City and Los Angeles, two of the biggest markets in America, still do not have permission from city authorities to open.

Cinemas in China – one of the world’s largest box-office markets – reopened on Monday for the first time in six months, though strict rules are in place which limit their capacity.

In light of the pandemic, several studios have postponed the filming and release of movies, including Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan, which is now set for release on 21 August.

But while some distributors have shifted to on-demand releases, Tenet is one of several big-budget films that have been delayed to ensure a full theatrical release.