But if audiences stay home out of fear, or the film is postponed, then Hollywood may have to forget about summer altogether (and start seriously worrying about the fall). As a result, release is both a symbol of the big-screen experience and a practical indicator of when people will actually return to cinemas. (No pressure, Chris.) Nolan’s films have frequently dealt with the concept of time, and is no exception, but the ticking clock that marks the approach of the release date is a temporal force over which the director has zero control. In short, the big question surrounding is no longer “What is it about?” but “When will it come out?” Tenet’s Tenet Tenet IT SAYS A LOT ABOUT THE LEVEL of secrecy surrounding that, when Pattinson met with Nolan in Los Angeles in early 2019, he didn’t even know what the meeting was for. “We talked for three hours about nothing, really,” says the actor, 34. “Then, he finally said in the last two minutes, ‘So, I’ve been writing this thing...’ ” Debicki recalls having to read Nolan’s screenplay at the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank. “I went into a small room and read the script by myself,” says the Australian actress, 29, best known for playing Jordan Baker in 2013’s “That’s quite unusual. It does feel like a kind of club and somehow I got the magical password and I got to suddenly experience the machinations Tenet the news of Nolan’s new project starring Washington, Pattinson, and TaylorJohnson broke in May 2019, the studio described the movie, with deliberate vagueness, as “an action epic evolving from the world of international espionage.” Today, Thomas remains extremely tight-lipped about the project, whose cast also includes Elizabeth Debicki, Clémence Poésy, Himesh Patel, Nolan regular Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh, who appeared in the director’s previous film The producer politely declines to answer even the most basic of questions, such as what country are we supposed to be in now? “I know people think we’re secretive, and we’re generally not,” says Thomas, who is married to Nolan and has produced all his movies. “On this one there’s a little bit more…” Thomas pauses, then changes tack. “All will become clear!” This air of mystery, combined with Nolan’s reputation as a creator of original blockbusters admired by audiences and critics alike, made one of 2020’s must-see releases the second it was announced. But in the months since EW’s set visit, the film has come to represent much more, as the coronavirus pandemic forced cinemas to close and almost every film scheduled for release prior to July 17 arrival to be postponed. While other summer movies were eventually pushed back (see sidebar on page 30) or dispatched to streaming services, is still set, at the time of this writing, to arrive in cinemas on its original release date. Success could trigger the resumption of the summer movie season, with set for release on July 24 followed Tenet Mulan The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run Wonder Woman 1984 Bill & Ted Face the Music “[Tenet by (Aug. 7), (Aug. 14), and (Aug. 21). is] kind of a unicorn of a movie anyway, because it’s not based on an IP thing,” says Pattinson. “But after all this— hopefully it will be a ridiculously overwhelming experience.” The Great Gatsby. Dunkirk. Tenet Tenet’s JULY 2020 EW ● COM 27
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