The first teaser trailer for Christopher Nolan‘s next film, Tenet, is now confirmed to be playing in theaters ahead of the Dwayne Johnson–Jason Statham action flick Hobbs & Shaw. The teaser is currently unavailable online but we have a full description available thanks to this writer seeing Hobbs & Shaw earlier this week.
Previous reports like ScreenCrush‘s indicated the Tenet teaser was possibly only attached to Hobbs & Shaw showings at Regal Theaters. It’s highly likely AMC might also be included in this agreement because when I attended a Thursday night showing of Hobbs & Shaw at an AMC Theater, I saw the Tenet teaser trailer. The Hollywood Reporter has noted a similar occurrence in Los Angeles. The teaser is less than a minute long but is jam-packed with hints about what one can expect from the newest original film from Nolan.
The teaser begins with a shot of Tenet‘s ostensible lead, John David Washington (BlackKklansman), standing in a room and investigating a bullet hole in a pane of glass. The room could possibly be an interrogation room (if not, the vibe of the room is quite similar). A title card cuts in and tells audiences “Time for a new protagonist.”
The teaser returns to Washington’s character. He touches the bullet hole in the glass and appears to step forward to another pane of glass. It looks like the same pane of glass with the bullet hole in exactly the same spot, only the bullet hole appears a bit bigger with more cracks emanating from it. Another title card cuts in: “Time for a new kind of mission.” The teaser then begins to rapidly cut back and forth between shots of the movie title logo, which features the “TEN” in Tenet right-side-up and the “ET” upside-down. The entire logo appears to be moving like the hands of a clock. In between these shots are quick glimpses of Washington’s character: one of him leading a team, all dressed in black tactical military or SWAT gear with full face masks and helmets; a few quick shots of Washington’s character in action; finally, a shot of the character in a featureless room, wearing an oxygen mask. He comes to and looks forward as a door opens. We don’t see what’s behind it.
Specific plot details about Tenet are being kept under wraps although a brief IMDb description notes the plot focuses on international espionage. Given the teaser shots of Washington’s character investigating two similar bullet holes, it’s possible Nolan is going to go all timey-wimey again and include a nonlinear timeline in Tenet, too, much like his previous films Memento, Batman Begins, and Inception. The Tenet teaser also fails to hint how Washington’s character connects to others, although there’s also a chance some of them were in the tactical team featured in the teaser.
In addition to Washington, the Tenet cast includes Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Clémence Poésy, Kenneth Branagh, who previously worked with Nolan on Dunkirk, and Michael Caine, who has had a role in every one of Nolan’s feature films since Batman Begins. Tenet is set to arrive in theaters on July 17, 2020.