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Warner Bros, Christopher Nolan Were At Odds About Whether to Delay Tenet

June 16, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Tenet JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON stars in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action epic "TENET," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Melinda Sue Gordon

Tenet has been bumped from its scheduled release day to the end of July, and that decision was reportedly a source of tension between Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. The New York Times reports that the film, which has been moved from July 17th to July 31st, caused some issues for Warner Bros. because Nolan was adamant about wanting to press ahead with the scheduled release date.

Nolan is a strong advocate for the theatrical experience and, according to the outlet, “was more eager to press ahead” than Warners who was concerned about its investment into the expensive blockbuster. Its July 17th opening would have made it the first major studio film to hit theaters nationwide since the shutdown and there is still not a sense of how skittish moviegoers will be about heading to the theaters, not to mention the need for social distancing within theaters which means diminished capacity in theaters.

Nolan is a big moneymaker for Warner Bros., and the studio wants to keep him happy there. On the other hand, it is a risky move to release Tenet this early from a financial aspect as the film cost $200 million not including marketing (some of which is lost due to the delays already made). With the film now opening on July 31st, Warner Bros. will re-release Nolan’s Inception in theaters on July 17th instead to celebrate that film’s 10th anniversary.