Director Nolan to Take Risk, Release ‘TENET’ After Delay

Noah Range, A&E Editor

Christopher Nolan’s “TENET” will be released later this summer in a plan to save struggling movie theaters amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As movie theaters worldwide continue to struggle after having to shut down or limit showings in the spring, Christopher Nolan hopes to be the man to reignite global interest in movie-going with the upcoming release of his new $200 million film, “TENET.”

Faced with uncertain theater availability and the task of enticing wary audiences to purchase tickets, “TENET”’s premier is a major gamble. A successful debut could put the theater industry back on its feet, while an unsuccessful one could lead to massive losses for Nolan and his studio.

“TENET”’s success is still uncertain. For one, studios are unsure if consumers will be willing to visit the theater in the middle of a global pandemic. What’s more, theater availability cannot be ensured, and the theaters that do open will likely only open at a reduced capacity.

According to The Los Angeles Times, key markets such as New York and Los Angeles still show no signs of opening cinemas, which further reduces its chances of success. To be successful, “TENET” must rely on theaters to remain consistently open and for audiences to be willing to return to a theater setting.

If “TENET” proves to be successful despite the obstacles it faces, it could rejuvenate interest in movie-going, affirming its role as the savior of cinema during the pandemic. This would provide an opportunity for other studios to follow in Nolan’s footsteps, and eventually film showings would return to normal.

If “TENET” proves to be unsuccessful, then it is likely that other films will avoid failing in a similar way. Nolan and his studio would lose a tremendous amount of money, considering the film’s massive $200 million budget.

Nolan is not only trying to revive the theater industry itself, but also the idea that theaters play a vital role in American and international social life. He has written about how he views cinemas as “joyful places” where audiences can experience stories on their night out with friends and family, according to The Atlantic. Since the pandemic is an existential threat to this aspect of global social life, Nolan is keen to do what is necessary to ensure its survival.

According to Variety, the film was originally set to debut in mid-July, only to be delayed three times to its current release date.

“TENET” will now have a staggered release, opening as early as Aug. 26 in some countries, or as late as Sept. 18 for others.