Christopher Nolan's 'Tenet' has been delayed indefinitely

The sci-fi movie's rollout could be staggered by country and even by city.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Tenet almost seems cursed at this point. Despite the best efforts of Warner Bros. and director Christopher Nolan to bring the movie to theaters this summer, coronavirus-related shutdowns have shattered those plans. The studio has delayed the spy/sci-fi blockbuster several times, and now it’s firmly back on the shelf — Warner Bros. has postponed it indefinitely.

The narrative over the last few months has been that Tenet, as one of the first major post-lockdown releases, could jolt theaters back to life once they reopened — assuming moviegoers felt safe enough to return to screenings. Given Nolan’s passion for the theater experience, it’s highly unlikely that Warner Bros. would skip cinemas entirely and premiere Tenet digitally. The studio will wait until a theatrical release is viable.

Warner Bros. and Nolan still harbor hopes of bringing it to theaters this year, however. “We will share a new 2020 release date imminently for Tenet, Christopher Nolan’s wholly original and mind-blowing feature,” the studio’s chairman Toby Emmerich told Variety in a statement. “We are not treating Tenet like a traditional global day-and-date release, and our upcoming marketing and distribution plans will reflect that.”

Warner Bros. will be flexible with its rollout plans, Variety reported, ultimately meaning that people in other countries could see the movie before the studio releases it domestically. There may even be staggered release dates within the US, starting in select cities where officials have deemed it enough safe to allow theaters to reopen. In any case, we’ll find out more about the release plans soon enough.