The status of cinemas is a story told a mile-a-minute under the pandemic, with Christopher Nolan’s Tenet the plane without an airfield to land on. In the latest development, Warner Bros has announced yet another hopeful-release date for the sci-fi espionage thriller, with a premiere planned for “more than 70 countries” beginning August 26th. Previously, the film floated for a time without a release date.
With Chinese theaters just starting to show signs of life, it should come as no surprise that the return to the theatrical experience is going to be a long, hard road, even in countries whose devastation by the COVID-19 pandemic has been markedly less severe than hotspots like China and the US. With that in mind, Warner Bros has set a September 3rd release for Tenet across “select US cities,” just in time for Labor Day weekend.
The markets eyed for August distribution of Tenet include Australia, Canada, France, Korea, Russia, Spain and the UK, where theaters have been able to recover gradually amidst lessened spread of the coronavirus. Left out of the roll-out are China–still too much of an unknown–and the United States.
Across the US, the theater policy varies from state-to-state, with the key theatrical markets in Los Angeles and New York facing tighter restrictions than most othes. New York theaters remain shuttered, while LA theaters tighten as California faces a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, alongside other reopening states.
Though it no doubt frustrates American filmgoers, Warner Bros’ move to show Tenet to the world–where it can, safely–makes a degree of sense. Fears of piracy no doubt factor into the decision, but in a situation as unprecedented as the one faced by the film industry, it’s a risk to be taken.
No mention has been made of a VoD or streaming alternative for Tenet‘s staggered release, and given Christopher Nolan’s commitment to the theatrical experience, that seems an unlikely development. But as these times have hopefully taught us all, expect the unexpected.
Stay tuned for more news on Tenet.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter