Tenet international release date set for August, US debut coming a week later

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Tenet will release in 70 countries worldwide more than a week before it debuts in select US cities, according to Variety (opens in new tab). Tenet (opens in new tab) will launch intentionally on August 26 in the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and more. It will open in select cities in North America on September 4. 

This official release date comes after months of uncertainty, with Christopher Nolan initially holding out hope for a worldwide theatrical release. The film was initially set to release in July, but as we previously reported (opens in new tab), the fate of Tenet has changed drastically and quickly since the start of summer, with Warner Bros. reporting just a week ago that the release was "delayed indefinitely." That was when it was set to debut on August 12 and usher in the potential revival of cinema in the age of COVID-19, but it was clear the largest market in the world (North America) wasn't ready to open theaters on a large scale. 

The mysterious thriller stars John David Washington and Robert Pattinson in an action epic centered around international espionage. Other than that, the film has remained shrouded in mystery. Pattinson has previously called the script "unreal." A staggered release could increase the chances of piracy, and with a film as expensive and mysterious as Tenet, it's certainly a risky move. 

Nolan has held out hope that Tenet could be something of a saving grace for cinemas after lengthy shutdowns began in March, but unfortunately the threat of the virus has outweighed the benefits of releasing in the US within the next few weeks. However, the delayed opening in North America is only a little more than a week after the international release, so if theaters can get up to snuff on social distancing guidelines and movie-goers feel safe enough to venture out, Tenet could still fare well in the US. 

Here's a first look at Tenet to hold you over.  (opens in new tab)

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.