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The Mind-Bending Trailer for Christopher Nolan's 'Tenet' Is Here with Big 'Inception' Vibes

It stars 'BlacKkKlansman' breakout John David Washington, as well as Robert Pattinson, Michael Caine and Aussie actor Elizabeth Debicki.
By Sarah Ward
December 20, 2019
By Sarah Ward
December 20, 2019

UPDATE: JULY 1, 2020 — Due to worldwide cinema closures and other concerns around COVID-19, Tenet will no longer release on its initially scheduled date of Thursday, July 17, 2020. Instead, it will now release on Thursday, August 13. This article has been updated to reflect that change.

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.


Every ten years, Christopher Nolan sends audiences on a wild journey. The Batman Begins, The Prestige and Interstellar filmmaker makes movies more often than that, but a decade seems to be how long it takes to indulge his weird and wonderful side. In 2000, that led to Memento, the film that helped bring the writer/director to broader attention. In 2010, Inception and its dreams within dreams were the end result. Now, come 2020, Nolan will be trifling with time and tasking BlacKkKlansman's John David Washington with trying to stop World War III, all in the trippy Tenet.

Until now, little has been known about Tenet, other than its name, its release date — July 16, 2020 Down Under — and its cast. And while the just-dropped first trailer doesn't spill many of the film's secrets, it does paint a very intriguing picture. In fact, rumours trying to connect the film to Inception are already circling, just based on the two-minute sneak peek.

Washington plays a spy, partnered with Robert Pattinson, who is trying to stave off something worse than a nuclear holocaust. He's also welcomed to the afterlife, told to start changing the way he sees the world and, in one scene, senses that a fight will take place before it happens. Things also move in reverse, stunts defy logic in more than just the usual action movie ways and Michael Caine pops up. And, in case you weren't already thinking of Inception anyway, the trailer is scored with an ominous, droning thrum.

Tenet also features Australian actor Elizabeth Debicki (Widows), Harry Potter's Clémence Poésy, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Himesh Patel (Yesterday), Martin Donovan (Ant-Man) and Kenneth Branagh — with the latter also starring in Nolan's last film, the World War II epic Dunkirk.

As for what else is in store in the filmmaker's 11th feature — other than dazzling visuals, an ambitious story and messing with viewers' heads in general — that's something Nolan isn't likely to give away until the film hits cinemas.

Check out the trailer below:

Tenet is slated to release in Australian cinemas on August 13, 2020. We'll update you if that changes again.

Published on December 20, 2019 by Sarah Ward


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