Is Christopher Nolan’s Tenet Connected To Inception? Here’s What John David Washington Says

John David Washington in Tenet

Christopher Nolan is an iconic director who is known for putting out his ambitious, acclaimed blockbusters in theaters. Nolan often plays with high concepts like time travel and dreams, with the latter theme being integral to his 2010 sci-fi hit Inception. The filmmaker will continue his tenure in theaters with the upcoming mysterious movie Tenet, starring the likes of John David Washington and Robert Pattinson. The movie's trailers revealed that characters will somehow be reversing time, leading some fans to wonder it it might also connect with Inception in some way. And now Washington has explained how much of a connection the two Nolan films have.

Following his acclaimed war drama Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan seemingly returned to sci-fi with Tenet. The movie's visuals and themes feel somewhat related to Inception, although it doesn't look like we'll be traveling through layers of dreams in the upcoming movie. Golden Globe nominee John David Washington is playing the Tenet's protagonist, and recently spoke to how their shared connection. Or in this case, the lack thereof. In his words,

I’d say [Tenet] is an in-law to Inception. They’re related by marriage. They get together for Thanksgivings, family barbecues, like that kind of thing. Other than that, one lives in Europe, the other one lives in Compton.

Well, that's one way of putting it. Because despite some fan theories about crossovers or connections between the two Christopher Nolan movie, John David Washington seemingly shut that down. They might have similarities, but the two projects simply aren't covering the same narrative territory.

John David Washington's comments to IndieWire were purposefully vague, as he continues to guard Tenet's many secrets until the movie arrives in theaters. Still, he seemingly puts an end to theories that Christopher Nolan's next movie will harken back to Inception in anyway. Nolan isn't a director who have ever used crossovers before, and he's seemingly not going to start now.

The details of Tenet's story remain a mystery for now, a new trailer revealed more footage and clues about what Christopher Nolan has in store for moviegoers. You can check it out below.

Clearly time is moving backward throughout Tenet, and it should be fascinating to see exactly how it's achieved. This macguffin no doubt opens countless doors within the story, and once again allows Christopher Nolan to produce some thrilling, cutting-edge visuals. While he won't be bending entire city streets or traveling through space Tenet, feels like a quintessential Nolan movie thus far.

John David Washington is a former professional running back turned actor, whose star power has been steadily growing over the past few years. After roles in HBO's Ballers and All Rise, Washington became a bonafide movie star in Spike Lee's BlackKklansman. His performance ultimately earned the actor SAG and Golden Globe nominations.

Tenet is currently set to arrive in theaters on July 17th, pending their reopening. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.