Watch the second trailer for Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ (VIDEO)

John David Washington leads time-inversion thriller ‘Tenet’. — Picture courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures
John David Washington leads time-inversion thriller ‘Tenet’. — Picture courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures

LOS ANGELES, May 23 — The director of Dunkirk and Batman’s Dark Knight trilogy returns this July with another big budget, mindboggling thriller in the vein of Inception and Interstellar.

Tenet plunges its lead character (John David Washington of BlacKkKlansman and Ballers) into a hidden world of international and intertemporal espionage.

The group he has joined to is trying to prevent World War III, here presented as a fate worse than nuclear holocaust.

Instead — and as with several of Nolan’s other movies — they’re grappling not only with their enemies but also with the nature of reality, as they and hostile interests attempt to manipulate time itself.

Washington is joined by British actors Robert Pattinson (Twilight, 2021’s projected The Batman), Michael Caine (six other Nolan films) and Kenneth Branagh (Dunkirk), Australia’s Paris-born Elizabeth Debicki (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), Bollywood icon Dimple Kapadia (Rudaali, Krantiveer, Dabangg), and France’s Clémence Poésy (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows).

The film’s title, tenet, means a belief or dogma considered true by members of a group or organisation.

It can be traced back to the latin word for mastery, comprehension, and physical grasp. That word relates to the Sator Square, a palindromic word puzzle dating back to the first century CE, and one with connections to various forms of mysticism.

Quite fittingly, considering the film’s theme of international espionage, there’s also a link to the CIA, one of whose directors was surnamed Tenet.

A production budget of US$205 million (RM894.5 million) makes Tenet Nolan’s most expensive film, one which would need to double its original budget to start making a profit, according to traditional metrics that account for promotion and distribution costs.

That might seem an enormous task given the existing impact of Covid-19 measures on the theatre industry, combined with a widely anticipated second wave of infections.

Yet with an unchanged international release set for the week of July 17, 2020, Warner Bros’ Tenet could be the first massive mid-year moneyspinner to welcome cautious moviegoers back to the cinema.

Disney, for example, is debuting family adventure Artemis Fowl through digital streaming service Disney+ on June 12, and even on July 3 its inspirational musical Hamilton is headed for VOD.

Only by the week after Tenet, on July 24, is the House of Mouse going back to the movies through highly anticipated live-action remake Mulan. ­— AFP-Relaxnews

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