Tenet: 7 Big Questions We Still Have About Christopher Nolan's Movie

Tenet John David Washington and Robert Pattinson in a red/blue lit room

As with any good Christopher Nolan movies, the upcoming release of Tenet has us asking a lot of questions. The sci-fi thriller, starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, looks like as much of a mindbender as Nolan’s previous efforts in the genre, with Inception looking like the closest cousin to this mysterious project.

But even in the realm of the reality surrounding Tenet in the real world, there’s tons of stuff that we’d like to know more about. While we can’t exactly delve into just what this particular movie holds within, let’s talk about the extremely visible questions that are staring us right in the face, outside of the Mystery Box known as Tenet.

Tenet Martin Donovan visiting John David Washington in the hospital

What Exactly Is Tenet About?

If you were to create a board with questions that needed to be answered about Tenet, right at the top would be the question that accompanies almost any Christopher Nolan story: what exactly is this movie about? We know there’s a time travel element, with events playing out in a fashion that defy the laws of temporal and spatial physics, and the possibility of World War III sitting on the line. But how did this all happen, who caused it, and why is Kenneth Branagh sailing on a boat worthy of a Bond villain?

Tenet Clémence Poésy sitting in a lab

Will Tenet Still Keep Its July Release Date?

At the moment, Tenet is still seemingly on track for a July 17th release date. Predictions of low box office numbers, but positive word of mouth accompany this plan to use a potential blockbuster as a lure to bring audiences into theaters. That first part should be enough to push Warner Bros off of deploying this film as intended, as an astronomical production budget requires a massive push into theaters, and huge crowds making the digital and physical film release of Tenet worth the fuss. Those calculations have to have Warner Bros suits wondering about whether or not Christopher Nolan’s latest action spectacular should continue with business as usual.

Tenet Robert Pattinson and John David Washington preparing to rappel up a wall

Where Could Tenet Move To, Should It Be Delayed?

Should Warner Bros make the decision to delay Tenet into another release date, a very important follow-up lies in the obvious question of when exactly this newly plotted opening should take place. As the studio has already started to rearrange its own internal calendar, with the competition staking out prime dates through the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021, the potential new dates for Tenet to do its best box office work have narrowed in scope, leaving fewer options but more people asking this particular query.

Tenet Kenneth Branagh sailing in the sunlight

Who Is The True Villain Of Tenet?

As we’ve only got a limited amount of information from the trailer released for Tenet, we only have shades of what the plot and its characters will be like. Seeing as any evil plot needs to have a mastermind or two behind it, the question of who the true villain of the piece is in Tenet is a pretty important thing to answer. While it looks like either Kenneth Branagh or even Christopher Nolan favorite Michael Caine could be providing the antagonistic catalyst to the caper that John David Washington and Robert Pattinson are investigating, there could be a twist that outs another, unseen presence as the big bad before all is over and done.

Aaron Taylor Johnson and Himesh Patel side by side

Who Are Aaron Taylor-Johnson And Himesh Patel Playing In Tenet?

With a Christopher Nolan movie comes a Nolan-worthy cast, as popular actors of both the present and the past tend to pop up. In Tenet’s cast of notables, both MCU veteran Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Yesterday’s breakout star Himesh Patel are among those who will be winding their way through the twisted mystery that Christopher Nolan’s new film will possess at its very heart. Though we haven’t a clue as to whom either of these parties are playing in the finished film, and their respective roles are something we’re eager to learn more about in due time.

Tenet Robert Pattinson driving with a concerned expression

What Could Tenet Be Rated?

It feels like Tenet would be a shoo-in for a PG-13 rating, as Christopher Nolan has never really strayed from that particular brand of filmmaking. Nolan is certainly no stranger to R-rated filmmaking, with Following, Memento, and Insomnia all landing the adult oriented classification in their theatrical releases. But the overall question really is whether or not Tenet even needs to land itself that restrictive branding, especially when the film is supposed to hit as wide an audience as possible to make the best profit margin possible. We’re still pondering the situation, but it’s a good chance that PG-13 will be the punchline to this particular gag.

Tenet John David Washington captured under duress

When Will We Get To See A New Trailer For Tenet?

With all of these questions surrounding Tenet and its continuously mysterious presence, it forces the hand on the ultimate question pertaining to those very secrets: just when are we going to get more details, through the obvious second trailer we should have seen by now? Depending on whether or not the movie will be released on its intended weekend in July, Tenet will either need to drop a trailer to reinforce that it’s on the way, or announce a brand new date for the film altogether.

Right now, all we have is a word: Tenet. It’ll open the right doors, and some of the wrong ones too, just as Martin Donovan’s enigmatic piece of this very puzzle has told us in the trailer. Obviously, we’ll be looking into this gigantic mystery, piecing together any other clues that come our way in the near future, in hopes of getting a better picture of how Tenet intends to impress its audience.

As it stands, Tenet is currently scheduled to unravel its secrets on July 17th. Though this could this change in the near future, due to current events playing out as they may. Should there be an update, we’ll report such happenings here at CinemaBlend as they develop.

Up next: Tenet: Everything We Know About Christopher Nolan's New Film

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.