Christopher Nolan's New Movie Tenet Dropped A Secret Trailer, Here's What It's About

Christopher Nolan in front of his IMAX camera, in the mountains

If you were at a screening of Hobbs & Shaw last night, you might have been one of the lucky folks to see the first trailer for one of 2020’s most anticipated films. Out of the blue, the very short trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet was unleashed upon the world. While it was indeed brief and to the point, there seems to be enough in the trailer to game out part of what’s going on in this new mystery project.

Based on a description of the trailer for Tenet, the limited bits of the film we do get to see center around John David Washington’s protagonist, as he’s investigating some sort of criminal or terrorist act that’s taken place. Seeing as the film is supposed to be an espionage thriller, the latter would seem to be the case.

It doesn’t take long for the supposedly 40 second trailer to go into high gear, as a SWAT team, some fighting, and repeated mentions of time are deployed in short succession. In fact, the two lines of text that Tenet employs in its cause are of particular note:

Time has come for a new protagonist.Time has come for a new mission.

Seeing as Tenet has been rumored to involved a time travel component to its particular mission, it sounds like “Time has come” takes on a quite literal meaning, with time and fate somehow roping in John David Washington’s central character into the proceedings of this film. This would also be supported by the alleged stylization of the film’s title, as the last two letters are reversed and turned upside down.

What we haven’t seen yet when it comes to Tenet’s promising romp through tradecraft and temporal physics, at least as far as this description from Polygon is concerned, are appearances by fellow cast members such as fellow leads Elizabeth Debicki and Robert Pattinson.

Though with a cast as impressive as the one that’s been assembled, there’s probably a good chance that those folks are being saved for further marketing materials down the line. If you’ve got Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh in your movie, you don’t put them into the limelight the first time out.

A whopping $225 million is supposedly being sunk into the making of Christopher Nolan’s spy thriller, so it kind of makes sense for Tenet to be getting a head start on selling its box office prospects. Unfortunately, much like Interstellar and Dunkirk before it, it looks like the trailer for Tenet will be exclusively in theaters for a spell before going online.

So if you want to see your first glimpse at Tenet, you’re probably going to have to go see Hobbs & Shaw in order to catch this quick look at the future of Christopher Nolan’s latest foray into movie magic. But be warned, your mileage may vary as not every theater running the film will have the trailer, so you may want to do some research before heading out.

Tenet will help July 17, 2020 become one of the busiest days of the box office calendar, as it will compete with the Ghostbusters sequel and Sony’s Marvel spin-off Morbius for those box office dollars. While that calendar might change up a bit before we get there, the 2019 Release Schedule is pretty set in its course, and ready to help you find your next night out at the movies.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.