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Thoughts on Christopher Nolan’s New Secret Project Tenet

August 5, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Tenet Christopher Nolan

The teaser for Christopher Nolan’s secret new project, Tenet, asks for questions than it answers and provides armchair analysts plenty to chew on while trying to figure out just what this new movie is about. Along with that, how will Nolan’s use of themes play into it?

“An action epic evolving from the world of international espionage.” That’s the official description for the director’s next film and more than a few have noted that Nolan’s Inception has been mentioned in describing Tenet. Word (aka rumor) is Tenet may deal with the time continuum in some fashion and taking that further, just might tie-in with the mind bending Inception.

I’d usually share the leaked teaser but I’ve only found bootleg versions online so instead you get this trailer…

It might be easy to dismiss the inception rumors but back in 2010, Nolan did an interview and said he was interested in expanding that cinematic universe through a video game. Nothing has come out about that but Warner Bros. released two Inception prequel comics written by Inception co-producer Jordan Goldberg, and called The Cobol Job and The Big Under. They cover missions leading directly into the movie and give a little more depth to that world.

So the connection between Inceptionand Tenet is as follows. In Inception, Nolan’s son (Magnus Nolan) plays the young version of Cobb’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) son. Knowing Nolan’s love for themes that touch both the real and cinematic world, that character played a significant role in Inception. The word, and it’s a stretch, is that Tenet follows Cobb’s two kids from Inception, and would be played by Elizabeth Debicki and Robert Pattinson. What makes this rumor juicy is that Michael Caine is in the movie, so could he be playing the same role as in Inception?

Descriptions of the trailer tell us that Tenet is lead by actor John David Washington and the trailer states “Time has come for a new protagonist” and “Time has come for a new kind of mission”, which tells us that anyone’s guess has merit at this point. While not a direct sequel, could Tenet be connected in some way? The definition of “Tenet” is a belief or principle, and obsessive belief., themes Nolan has explored before in several of his movies.

Before getting an official title, the project was rumored to be called Merry-Go-Round. What significance that has, I have no idea but I’m hoping someone in the comments can shed some light on it and offer their own guess at it.

No matter what, any project by Nolan will be intriguing on some level and Tenet looks no different.