'Tenet' Gets August International Release Before U.S. Premiere

Director Christopher Nolan is determined to see his next sci-fi epic open in theaters.
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Tenet director Christopher Nolan was determined to open his mysterious sci-fi epic in actual movie theaters, COVID-19 be damned. He may be able to do so, but the movie has been delayed again, and at the moment, it will first premiere only in theaters outside the U.S.

Variety reports that Tenet will make its first international debut (in the United Kingdom and most of the E.U.) in theaters on August 26, 2020. The United States will have to wait.

Here's more from Variety on yet another change for the movie that was originally set to release on July 17, then July 31:

The studio announced Monday that “Tenet” is launching in theaters at the end of August in 70 overseas territories, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United Kingdom. At this time, it’s unclear what parts of the United States will play the film. The studio does not have plans yet to release “Tenet” in China.

According to Variety, distributor Warner Bros. "hopes to innovate and recalibrate given the fact that foreign markets are already starting to reopen safely and desperately need new Hollywood movies to entice crowds."

John David Washington

John David Washington

The problem is the United States "has seen coronavirus cases exponentially rise in recent weeks, complicating plans to resume operations at domestic movie theaters anytime soon."

Tenet, a sci-fi epic about time "inversion," not travel, stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki, and it cost Warner in excess of $200 million to make. Variety notes that "a staggered rollout would be a risky proposition" for such a high-profile film—especially a Nolan thriller. Given the movie remains shrouded in mystery and the director is noted for his twisting, layered storylines, there's a huge danger of spoilers getting out and tanking possible future profits.

Robert Pattinson, John David Washington

Robert Pattinson, John David Washington

As of July 28, however, Tenet is slated to open in the United States, Kuwait and Qatar on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2020. 

Per Variety, read the full staggered global release schedule below.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 26: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom
  • Thursday, Aug. 27: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Lebanon, Malaysia, Middle East, New Zealand, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates
  • Friday, Aug. 28: East Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Norway, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Vietnam
  • Wednesday, Sept. 3: United States, Kuwait and Qatar
  • Thursday, Sept. 10: Azerbaijan, CIS Others, Kazakhstan, Russia
  • Thursday, Sept. 17: Cyprus
  • Friday, Sept. 18: Japan
  • Dates TBD: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela