Christopher Nolan is a man of mystery. The director responsible for acclaimed films like Memento, The Dark Knight trilogy, and Dunkirk is currently revving up for his next film. And, as was the case with all of his previous projects, we know almost nothing about it so far.
That’s certainly by design. Nolan films are always shrouded in mystery, until the first press releases and trailers start eking out, slowly painting a portrait of what to expect. Even films like his Batman trilogy, based on preexisting characters, or Dunkirk, based on a true story, are unique in format and presentation. That’s part of what make his films so anticipated: We have no idea what to expect until we’re watching the finished product.
So no, we don’t know much about his next movie. We know, according to Deadline, that it now has a title: Tenet. We know the final cast. And details are starting to leak, enough to give us an idea of what may be in store, and with just enough exciting anecdotes to whet the appetite. Here is everything we know about Tenet so far.
It has a trailer.
Currently, the official plot synopsis consists of a single, vague indication of what the film’s about. Tenet “is an action epic evolving from the world of international espionage.” Fortunately, the first trailer, released in December gives us a little bit more to go on.
Sure, it’s not too much. But it appears Tenet explores life, death, and beyond—with a mysterious, action-packed twist.
It has a release date.
Nolan’s frequent collaborator Warner Bros. is producing the film, and according to Variety, will release it on July 17, 2020. That’s not exactly telling news; most of Nolan’s recent films—with the exception of Interstellar—have had summer release dates. But it does speak to what we know about Nolan: that he’s set on creating bold, imaginative summer blockbusters.
The title is a palindrome.
This isn’t a huge reveal and doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but knowing Nolan, it’s something to consider. “Tenet” is spelled the same backwards and forwards. Given Nolan’s obsession with time, we have a feeling this will play into the plot of the film.
It’s an action movie with shades of Inception.
A Variety source described the movie as a “massive action blockbuster,” with The Hollywood Reporter describing it as “a globe-trotting adventure that has shades of the mind-bending nature of Inception but does involve the time continuum.” We also know, thanks to Deadline, that the film is shooting in seven different countries. While the film remains shrouded in secrecy, one thing we do know is there is no time travel. In a May 2020 GQ interview, Robert Pattinson joked that it was the “one thing” he’s allowed to say about the film. Of his character, he said, “He’s not a time traveler. There’s actually no time traveling.”
Additionally, he commented on the set pieces, revealing, “And in each country there’s, like, an enormous set-piece scene, which is like the climax of a normal movie. In every single country.” While Nolan encouraged GQ to take Pattinson’s words with a grain of salt, they do line up with the multiple high-concept, action-packed moments Nolan’s become known for.
He’s working with a new editor.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nolan has tapped Hereditary editor Jennifer Lame to work with him on the film. This is a pretty big deal, since the director has worked with previous editor Lee Smith on every one of his films since Batman Begins. Smith won an Oscar for their collaboration on Dunkirk. There don’t appear to be any hard feelings between the two, however; Smith is just booked up. He’s currently at work with Sam Mendes on World War I epic, 1917.
The cast is already stacked.
We’re likely quite a ways off from any official plot reveals, but we do know that Nolan is putting together an impressive cast. BlackKklansman actor John David Washington will play the lead in the film. Washington is the son of actor Denzel Washington and was nominated for a Golden Globe and SAG for his work in last year’s Spike Lee film. He was also seen on the HBO series Ballers.
Washington will be joined by Widows actress Elizabeth Debicki, as well as soon-to-be-Batman actor Robert Pattinson. The rest of the cast includes Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Clémence Poésy.
No word yet on what kind of roles they’ll be playing or what genre the film will even be, but come on, it’s Christopher Nolan. We’ll be there opening day no matter what.
Header Image: Warner Bros.