The second Tenet trailer, teasing Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated next movie, answers some questions about the time-bending thriller’s plot, as well as briefly sparking a new mystery. Which means that Tenet is very definitely a Christopher Nolan production.
The trailer, which premiered Thursday night inside the video game Fortnite, gives us a bit more to work with than the elliptical first teaser did. John David Washington, best known prior to this for starring in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, plays a seemingly newly recruited agent who is trying to prevent World War III. However, it’s not a nuclear disaster he and recent GQ cover star Robert Pattinson are trying to stop. Instead, it involves some type of time-bending—the Tenet trailer calls it inversion—that allows Washington to suck up bullets with his gun and for cars to un-crash themselves.
There’s talk of “a certain Russian national” with the ability to “communicate with the future”; Washington, presumably, will have to stop him. But this being a Christopher Nolan movie, there’s probably a lot more going on that we might initially think. Michael Caine, Elizabeth Debicki, and Himesh Patel are also among the stars of the film, Nolan’s eleventh and first since Dunkirk.
But the still-mysterious film is shrouded in a bit of real-world mystery, too. Since the coronavirus pandemic interrupted moviegoing, shifting release dates into the fall (and sending other films straight to video), Warner Bros. has been steadfast in its efforts to release Tenet into theaters for its premiere on July 17—thanks in part, presumably, to Nolan’s cinema-buff bona fides. And this new trailer does end with the declaration that Tenet will premiere in theaters. However, there’s no release date accompanying that message—and initially the social marketing and the official blurb underneath the trailer lacked a date as well. Might Nolan’s movie have been bumped, too? After 10 or so minutes, though, those materials were updated to once again state that Tenet is still slated for a July 17 release. That plan may still change; it’s unclear what appetite there will be for sitting in a dark room crowded with strangers, even two months from now. But if nothing else changes, that seems to be where Tenet will premiere in July.