The trailers for Christopher Nolan's upcoming movie Tenet tease a high-concept spy thriller featuring world-ending conspiracies, shadowy operatives, and reality-bending action. According to a new interview with Nolan and the film's lead actor John David Washinton, the trailers give only a glimpse of the action that is to come, as the filmmaker elaborated.
"The film has more action than any film I've ever done. It has a plethora of action sequences that [John David Washington took] the lead in. So he gets to do all kinds of different things. That athleticism also puts itself into the way he walks down the street and the way he talks and the way he moves."
Coming from the guy who made the Dark Knight trilogy, the declaration that Tenet will take things even further in the action department has us wondering what kind of violent spectacle we will get to see in the new film that would exceed scenes of Batman fighting an army of ninjas, Gotham mobsters, and supervillains like Joker and Bane.
Tenet plays with the concept of time inversion, where cause and effect are interchanged in small pockets of time, leading to characters playing out the same action multiple times with different outcomes. Already in the trailers, we have seen a practical demonstration of this concept in the form of bullets returning from their targets and settling back into their guns, ships moving in reverse, and cars flipping over several times before magically righting themselves. Knowing Christopher Nolan, all of this is probably just a taste of what is to come. For actor Washington, playing such a strenuous part was as difficult as it was dear to him.
"There were some times I couldn't get up out of bed. A couple weeks in, I was worried, very concerned I wasn't going to be able to finish this thing, and I didn't want to tell anybody because I was like, 'Oh, I will die for this."
"It was like, in the NFL, I felt like I needed to be there every day to keep my job, and I felt the same way about this. This film deserves it. Even if I break something, I am not going to say nothing to nobody until this thing gets done."
Clearly, everyone involved in making the movie was deadly serious about putting their best foot forward, from Washington risking serious injury during the action scenes, to Nolan blowing up an actual 747 plane for a plot sequence. All that hard work is sure to result in a memorable experience when audiences finally get to watch the movie.
While the film is slated for a 17th of July release, its fate is actually a lot more uncertain, with studios still mulling over the option of releasing big-budget movies in empty theaters due to the lockdown, versus releasing them online via PVOD, which makes less money. Nolan, who strongly believes in movies being a big-screen experience, has been pushing for a theatrical release for Tenet. And that is hopefully the format in which fans will finally get to watch the film. Esquire was the first to drop these quotes.