Even as more and more theater chains buckle under the pressure of the global lockdown, Christopher Nolan is one major filmmaker who continues to bat for the theatrical experience. Amidst the release date for Tenet getting pushed back to July 31, and rumors of Warner Bros. considering a VOD release for the film, Nolan sent a taped message to the participants of the 2020 edition of CineEurope, reiterating his support for the theater experience for the benefit of the audience of international film distributors and exhibitors. Nolan's message was as such.
"We're in the final throes of it. I don't want to say too much about it other than we're extraordinarily excited about what we've been able to do with this material. I think of all the films that I've made, this is perhaps the one that is most designed for the audience experience, the big screen experience."
"This is a film whose image and sound really needs to be enjoyed in your theaters on the big screen and we're very very excited for you to see what it is we've done. We've made big films in the past, but this is a film whose global reach and level of action is beyond anything we've ever attempted before. I think we only would have been able to pull off this film with the level of experience we've had doing action films in the past."
"The movie has an incredible ensemble cast led by John David Washington who gives the most extraordinary and iconic performance as the protagonist at the heart of Tenet and I cannot wait for you guys to see what he's done with his character. I'm very much looking forward to sharing the film with you. I'm going to get back to finishing it right now and I look forward to your reaction."
Tenet tells the tale of a team of international spies tasked with preventing armageddon through the use of time-inversion technology. Christopher Nolan has repeatedly asserted that this is his most ambitious film to date, with an international star cast, scenes shot across the world, and the kind of budget and filmmaking techniques used that would have been unthinkable without very recent technological advances.
Naturally, Nolan wants all that effort to be unveiled in front of audiences on the big screen, even as the global lockdown destroys any chances of the movie getting released on its initially planned date. Now, even though he has been forced to change the release date, Nolan appears as determined as ever to ensure a theatrical release for Tenet.
The major question for Warner Bros. is whether releasing Tenet in theaters will be worth it if audiences are too afraid to sit in said theaters with crowds of strangers. To test the waters, Nolan's previous blockbuster Inception was recently released in cinemas, partly to see if audiences are willing to risk infection to watch the filmmaker's work on the big screen. If attendance percentages of audiences are considered unsatisfactory, Tenet may get its release date postponed yet again. Deadline was the first to drop these comments from Christopher Nolan.