The long road to the “Tenet” theatrical release continues as Warner Bros. is delaying the Christopher Nolan espionage epic to August 12. The studio pushed “Tenet” to July 31 earlier this month to give theaters two additional weeks to open and getoperations running smoothly under new safety protocols.
However, with the constant protests and a large contingent of people not practicing social distancing over the past couple of weeks, COVID-19 has come back in a bog bad way. So much so many businesses, movie premieres, and events are second-guessing opening back up next month.
Tenet which cost $200 million, was initially slated to arrive in theaters on July 17, but was later postponed until July 31. Now, it will be released on Aug. 12 — unless cases of the virus continue to rapidly spread across the country and the studio no longer deems it safe to unveil a major movie at that time.
“Warner Bros. is committed to bringing ‘Tenet’ to audiences in theaters, on the big screen, when exhibitors are ready and public health officials say it’s time,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a statement. “In this moment what we need to be is flexible, and we are not treating this as a traditional movie release. We are choosing to open the movie mid-week to allow audiences to discover the film in their own time, and we plan to play longer, over an extended play period far beyond the norm, to develop a very different yet successful release strategy.”
The latest shift for “Tenet” comes after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that movie theaters in his state would not be included in Phase 4 of reopening. Without cinemas in New York City and Los Angeles back in business, the big-budget action epic will be deprived of two of the country’s biggest moviegoing markets. As parts of the nation have started to reopen, some states have seen massive spikes in infection rates. That could further derail the industry’s plans to go back to the movies.
“Tenet” — which stars Robert Pattison and John David Washington — follows an operative tasked with preventing the next world war. Like most of Nolan’s movies, the espionage thriller is shrouded in secrecy. Nolan’s film credits include “The Dark Knight” trilogy, “Dunkirk” and “Interstellar.”