After spending the last quarter-of-a-year clinging to their original July 17 release date for dear life, Warner Bros. finally ceded an inch of ground over the weekend, as it was announced that Christopher Nolan’s 11th film Tenet was being delayed until July 31.
Granted, while it’s only a two-week delay, it shows that Warner Bros. obviously wasn’t feeling confident in their ability to release the film on July 17, which really begs the question of why they’re bothering with dropping the film in July at all. Wonder Woman 1984 delayed until October. Fast 9 and Matrix 4 and Godzilla vs. Kong and etc, etc. all delayed until 2021, why can’t Tenet?
And according to the New York Times, the answer is simple: to keep Christopher Nolan happy.
After being closed for months by the pandemic, movie theaters around the world are starting to reopen, albeit with limited attendance and heightened safety requirements. But theaters in important markets like New York and Los Angeles may not be open by July 17. Further complicating matters, no one knows how skittish audiences will be about returning to theaters, making big-budget releases all the more important.
The big studios are eager to begin releasing movies again, but none are particularly thrilled by the idea of going first. In recent weeks, Warner, concerned about its “Tenet” investment, was leaning in favor of postponement, while Mr. Nolan, a fervent advocate for preserving the moviegoing experience, was more eager to press ahead. The discussions amounted to a fraught moment for Warner: Mr. Nolan is a proven moneymaker, and the studio wants to keep him happy. [via New York Times]
Nolan has long been touted as one of Hollywood’s pre-eminent visionaries, but his vision is bordering on delusion if he continues down this release-Tenet-at-all-costs path.
Currently, Tenet is scheduled to be released on Friday, July 31. Whether or not that actually happens is yet to be seen. In addition to John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, Tenet also stars Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh, Clémence Poésy, and Dimple Kapadia.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or contact him firstname.lastname@example.org