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Tenet delayed – new release date to be announced imminently

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Tenet release date has been delayed. 

Christopher Nolan's huge production was intended to reach cinemas on August 12, marking the start of cinemas' return to normality. However, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep nations, Warner Bros. – the studio behind the tentpole movie – has decided to delay its big release until an unknown date. 

A statement from Toby Emmerich, chairman of the Warner Bros. Pictures Group, reads: “Our goals throughout this process have been to ensure the highest odds of success for our films while also being ready to support our theater partners with new content as soon as they could safely reopen.

“We’re grateful for the support we’ve received from exhibitors and remain steadfast in our commitment to the theatrical experience around the world. Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to proliferate, causing us to reevaluate our release dates. Amidst all this continued uncertainty, we have decided to vacate the current dates for our next two releases.”

That second release Emmerich references is The Conjuring 3, which will now reach cinemas June 4, 2021 instead of September 11, 2020. The two releases being delayed will no doubt be a huge blow to cinemas around the world, including the UK, where they have begun to reopen with strict social distancing guidelines. However, there is some hope for an early Tenet release in countries where the coronavirus pandemic is under control.

Emmerich added: “We will share a new 2020 release date imminently for Tenet, Christopher Nolan’s wholly original and mind-blowing feature. We are not treating Tenet like a traditional global day-and-date release, and our upcoming marketing and distribution plans will reflect that."

If Warner does not go along with a day-and-date worldwide release – as has become the norm for movies where spoilers are a worry – this could mean an earlier release in places outside the United States, which remains severely impacted by COVID-19. Sources stressed to Variety this could very well be an option as Nolan's movies typically make over 50% of their box-office from countries other than America. There's also a chance the movie could open earlier in certain States which are not hit as hard by the coronavirus.

Whatever the case, this is no doubt a huge blow to cinemas which are already struggling to stay afloat due to there being fewer big-budget movies to sell tickets for. Safety, though, is paramount, and we will gladly wait until its safe to see Nolan's epic, which stars John David Washington and Robert Pattinson.

I'm the Entertainment Editor over here at GamesRadar+, bringing you all the latest movie and TV news, reviews, and features. I look after all the Total Film and SFX articles that end up on the website