Tenet Is Expected To Push The Spy Genre To New Heights, Because Christopher Nolan

John David Washington in Tenet

Judging from what we’ve seen so far, director Christopher Nolan’s latest movie, Tenet, won’t be lacking in spectacle, namely for how it incorporates the time manipulation into the narrative. As such, one wouldn’t be faulted for classifying Tenet as a sci-fi movie, but Nolan modeled it to fit more comfortably within the spy genre.

Here’s what Christopher Nolan recently had to say about what audiences can expect from Tenet (which reportedly cost more than $200 million to make):

It’s a film of great ambition and great scale that takes a genre, namely the spy film, and tries to take it into some new territory, and tries to take the audience on a ride they might not have had before, and might not be expecting.

Over the years, many fans have hoped that Christopher Nolan would get a shot at directing a James Bond movie. While there’s still no indication that will ever happen, Tenet allows him to not only leave his stamp on the spy genre, but also do new things with it. With a cast of finely-dressed actors, explosive set pieces and plenty of action, it’ll be great to finally see what Nolan can do on this kind of cinematic playing field.

Christopher Nolan also stated the following during his conversation with Total Film:

We’re looking at first and foremost giving the audience an incredible ride in the spy movie genre, but using the audience’s facility with following the conventions of that genre to push it into some interesting and unexpected territory.

Pushing into interesting and unexpected territory is definitely a hallmark of Christopher Nolan filmmaking. Even his Dark Knight trilogy took Batman into fresh terrain and put various unique spins on the Caped Crusader’s mythology, particularly with the depictions of villains like The Joker and Bane. So if you’re a spy movie connoisseur, get ready to see what kind of flavor Nolan is dishing out with Tenet.

Plot-wise, all we know so far about Tenet, aside from its use of time “inversion” (no, actual time travel doesn’t factor in), is that it follows a secret agent and his allies from stopping World War III. This conflict will involve something worse than nuclear annihilation, and one of the antagonists, if not the main one, a Russian national who’s able to communicate with the future. The cast includes John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh, Michael Caine, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Martin Donovan.

Tenet is still expected to open in theaters on July 17, but if the movie ends up being pushed back, we here at CinemaBlend will let you know about it. In the meantime, check out what other movies are supposed to come out later this year with our 2020 release schedule, or look through our guide listing all the movies that have been delayed over the last several months.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.