Tenet: Christopher Nolan suffers big setback in battle to release new film in July

Inception director has to overcome one pretty big obstacle for gamble to pay off

Jacob Stolworthy
Tuesday 19 May 2020 11:14
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Tenet - Trailer

Christopher Nolan’s gamble with his new film Tenet is facing one pretty big setback.

It’s been reported that the Inception director is fighting hard for the 17 July release date of his expensive new thriller to remain unchanged despite other Warner Bros films being delayed until 2021 due to strict lockdown guidelines.

While it looked like that gamble was one step closer to paying off following the latest update from Vue cinemas, it’s now come to light that the release will only be sanctioned if 80 per cent of cinemas worldwide are open for business.

This could potentially prove a big obstacle for Tenet – while cinemas in South Korea are open, they remain closed in lots of American cities (New York, Los Angeles, etc) as well as the UK and other European territories; the 4 July date proposed by UK cinema chains is based on what the guidelines state when that date rolls around.

Tim Richards, Vue’s chief executive, told the BBC that he is currently in the process of discussing social distancing measures with UK authorities, which may mean a smaller number of audiences will be permitted for each film screening.

This certainly is one step in the right direction for Tenet, which would make history by becoming the first new film to be released in cinemas in a post-coronavirus world.

However, Forbes reports that if 80 per cent of cinemas are not open in time for its planned release date, Tenet will be delayed until either 14 August or even later – a decision that would push Wonder Woman 1984 to either October or December.

“Chris really would like to be coming out with the film that opens theatres,” IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond said in a company conference call earlier this month, adding: “I don’t know anyone in America who is pushing harder than Chris Nolan to have the theatres open and to have his movie released in July when it’s scheduled for.”

Disney’s delayed live-action Mulan film is scheduled to be released on 24 July. As it stands, Tenet – which stars John David Washington and Robert Pattinson – will be released in cinemas on 17 July 2020.

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