Christopher Nolan would still like his latest movie, Tenet to be a key part of theaters reopening, but that’s being pushed back to August now instead of July. On Friday morning, Warner Bros. announced that it is delaying Tenet’s release a second time. The film is now set to hit theaters on Aug. 12.
Tenet’s first delay happened in early June, when Warner bumped the movie from July 17 to July 31. However, with cases of the novel coronavirus continuing to rise around the United States, it seems that Warner Bros. decided that any date in July is still too optimistic for the film’s release.
Along with this new, later date, Warner Bros. is also taking a unique approach to its release in general. Rather than the regular Friday debut for the film, it will start playing in theaters on a Wednesday to give people more time to see it in the lead up to the weekend. Warner also says that Tenet will have a longer theatrical window to ensure that as many people as possible feel comfortable seeing the film in theaters.
As part of Tenet’s initial delay, Warner Bros. planned to re-release Nolan’s dream-based action movie Inception into theaters on July 17 — the day Tenet was originally set to premiere. The re-release of Inception has been pushed back as well, all the way to July 31 — the day that Tenet was supposed to open after its first delay.
With Tenet now officially out of July, the only remaining blockbuster movie to occupy the mid-summer timeslot is Disney’s Mulan, which is scheduled for July 24. With nearly three weeks between Mulan’s release date and Tenet’s new date, it seems there will be plenty of time for Warner Bros. to judge whether or not audiences were ready to return to theaters for Disney’s latest live-action remake. Of course, there’s no guarantee that Mulan will stay in that spot.
While many theaters across the United States are planning to open up in accordance with relaxed social distancing guidelines, some of the largest markets may stay closed.
New York’s movie theaters are likely to remain closed for the near future. Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that theaters would not be part of Phase 4 of the reopening plan, meaning that they’re likely to be closed for at least the next several weeks. In Los Angeles, theaters also remain closed — despite the rest of California being clear to open them — with no clear date for reopening. Meanwhile, while Illinois will be entering Phase 4 and opening theaters on Monday, Chicago will not. The earliest theaters would open in the Windy City is now July 3.
As the United States, and the rest of the world, continues to deal with the novel coronavirus pandemic and the difficulties of reopening business while trying to keep cases down, there’s no telling whether or not Tenet will be able to keep its latest release date, or if it will get pushed yet again. For now, Nolan fans will have to settle for his movies gracing the in-game screens of Fortnite rather than actual movie theaters.