Tenet is the latest from Christopher Nolan, and it’s following the auteur’s predilection for keeping his unreleased films and their plots under wraps. But the biggest unknown aspect of the upcoming sci-fi thriller has turned out to be its release date, thanks to the effects of COVID-19. The tentpole film has become an indicator of sorts for where the industry is at in terms of returning to theatrical releases, and its release date has been adjusted three times before the most recent announcement from Warner Bros. Initially slated to release July 17, it was first pushed to July 31 and then to August 12. The latest update tells us that Tenet will now be opening first internationally, beginning on August 26, before coming to select theaters in the U.S. on September 3. Time will tell if this most recent plan for its theatrical release will come to fruition. In the meantime, the stars of Tenet are doing a good job keeping the secret of its plot, although its trailer does hint at some high stakes related to time inversion. While you wait for the highly-anticipated release of the film, we’re giving you a peek into the all-star cast that you’ll hopefully be able to see on the big screen come September. 


John David Washington

The former football player and son of Denzel Washington did not ride on his father’s coattails to transition from athlete to actor, according to his recent interview with Esquire. After a torn Achilles tendon ended his football career, Washington was solicited to audition for the Dwayne Johnson-starring HBO series Ballers. He was still healing from the injury when he began the audition process and waited until he’d booked the role to tell his father that he was going to be an actor, too. From there, Washington went on to land projects such as Neon’s crime thriller Monsters and Men and Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, the latter of which earned him a Golden Globes nomination. The performance caught Nolan’s eye, and it remains to be seen if Washington’s starring role in Tenet will launch the relatively-new actor’s career in the same way the director’s previous films have for other actors.  

Elizabeth Debicki

The Australian actor is no stranger to action-packed films. For example, she gave memorable performances as Ayesha in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and as Alice in Widows. And her nuanced work in The Burnt Orange Heresy speaks to her ability with thrillers, as well. According to Variety, Nolan was impressed with the transformational character work Debicki displayed in her previous projects. “For somebody as striking and interesting to look at as she is, the idea she has a chameleon-like ability speaks volumes to her skills as an actor,” said Nolan. The varied nature of Debicki’s previous roles, which include Lady Macduff in the Michael Fassbender-starring Macbeth and Virginia Woolf in IFC Films’ Vita & Virginia, further supports the actor’s ease with on-screen transformations. We’re looking forward to seeing how she tackles her latest role when Tenet releases.

Robert Pattinson

Pattinson became a household name thanks to the Twilight series, which means he’s familiar with big-budget features. But since his last film as a vampire heartthrob, Pattinson has turned to more arthouse films like David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis and A24’s The Lighthouse. Playing characters in a moral gray area is much more exciting and satisfying to do,” Pattinson told NPR. “I’ve only really been able to find unusual parts in smaller movies. Considering the thought-provoking nature of Nolan’s films, Pattinson’s role in Tenet will hopefully preserve that unique quality he seeks, even if it’s housed within a big-budget film. And the performance will eventually be followed by his turn as Bruce Wayne in the upcoming Warner Bros. feature The Batman.


Besides Washington, Debicki, and Pattinson, you can watch for performances from the likes of Kenneth Branagh, Michael Caine, and Himesh Patel when Tenet hits theaters. Here’s hoping that the latest release date sticks and doesn’t keep getting pushed, as actor Kumail Nanjiani quipped in a recent tweet: “The year is 2029,” Nanjiani posted. “Tenet is delayed by 2 more weeks.” Regardless of when audiences have the chance to view the sci-fi thriller, though, its powerhouse cast gives us high hopes that the film will have been well worth the wait.  


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