Warner Bros. is negotiating with European film distributors for a possible premiere of British director Christopher Nolan's "Tenet" at the end of August. Some of the movie's key scenes were filmed in Tallinn last summer, but the coronavirus pandemic put the film's release on hold in the United States, and therefore Estonia and Europe too.
Variety reported that the studio has told the U.K., French and Spanish film theaters to be ready to premiere the movie between August 26 and 28. These dates have not been officially confirmed. There have been discussions between sources that the premiere dates may have struck a positive note, and they are moving in the right direction.
One cinema contacted by the studio said the tipping point in favor of an international release ahead of a U.S. now ultimately comes down to the reopening of Chinese cinemas this past week. However, given the rapidly changing nature of the global pandemic crisis, these plans may change too if and when the situation worsens and the virus is still spreading.
The strong Asian box office performance for "Train to Busan" sequel "Peninsula," which made a sensational debut with $20.8 million across four markets, is believed to have buoyed studio bosses.
Warner Bros. removed "Tenet" from its upcoming premiere schedule on Monday and promised to announce a new premiere date soon. Another postponement of the premiere of the film was a major blow to cinemas that had built their business recovery models on recent U.S. box office premieres such as "Tenet" and "Mulan," which Disney also postponed to an unknown date this week.
Nolan's "Tenet" was originally scheduled to premiere on July 17, but was postponed initially to July 31 and then to August 12. The latest postponement was due to a new rise in COVID-19 cases in states with large U.S. film markets, such as Florida and Texas, as well as California.
Toby Emmerich, Chairman of the Board of Warner Bros, said: "We are not treating 'Tenet' like a traditional global day-and-date release, and our upcoming marketing and distribution plans will reflect that."
There are also many concerns that for a film like "Tenet" as a foreign debut could result in piracy, potentially spoiling some of the film's surprises.
Nolan, whose directorial work also includes the "The Dark Knight" trilogy and "Interstellar", says his new offering "Tenet" is about a secret agent whose task is to prevent another world war. In addition to Robert Pattinson ("Twilight") and John David Washington ("BlacKkKlansman"), the film also features Elizabeth Debicki ("The Night Manager"), Aaron Taylor-Johnson ("Avengers: Age of Ultron") and Kenneth Branagh ("Harry Potter" series). Pattinson and Washington were both spotted in Tallinn when filming took place last year, as well as Nolan himself.
Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein