Warner Bros. is staggering its release of Christopher Nolan’s much anticipated spy thriller “Tenet.”
The company, which previously aimed to open Christopher Nolan’s Tenet in July and have it be the first big blockbuster movie back in theaters when they widely reopen, on Monday announced that the film will now be released internationally on Aug. 26 and then play in “select” cities in the United States on Sept. 3, Variety reports. This news came a week after the film’s U.S. release, which had most recently been Aug. 12, was postponed for the third time amid rising COVID-19 cases in the country.
Over 70 countries will now get the new Nolan film starting in August, including Australia, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom. That will be followed by the film’s limited debut in the United States, which would put it in at least some theaters for Labor Day weekend. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, though, the movie may end up having to launch without being in major cities where it’s not clear that theaters will be permitted to reopen by then, including Los Angeles and New York City.
A previous report from Vulture suggested Nolan was hesitant about releasing Tenet overseas first, wanting to “help support American theaters in their time of need.” That report also noted that releasing the film internationally before its domestic launch would be a “risky strategy in an era of rampant overseas movie piracy.”
But when announcing Tenet’s latest delay, Warner Bros. had hinted it might opt for this strategy, saying it was no longer treating the film as a “traditional global day-and-date release.” Meanwhile, Disney last week announced it would indefinitely postpone the August debut of Mulan, while Paramount pushed its upcoming movies Top Gun: Maverick and A Quiet Place Part II all the way to next year. AMC Theatres, the largest theater chain in the U.S., is as of now planning to begin reopening in “mid-to-late August.”