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Tenet release date: When can we expect Christopher Nolan's new movie in cinemas?

Tenet release date
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Who’d have thought the discussion around Tenet release date would prove so important? Not only does it carry with it the expectations than usually surround a blockbuster release from director Christopher Nolan, it will also serve as a timely litmus test in the wake of cinemas re-opening amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the clock ticks ever nearer. The Tenet release date is almost here – and a series of developments has made the idea of it reaching its current summer slot without delay seem unlikely. So, we’re here to breakdown when we can expect to see Tenet in cinemas, and what its current official release date is, including a positive update from one of the world's biggest cinema chains.

Update: Warner Bros. and Christopher Nolan reportedly "optimistic" of meeting the Tenet release date

We've been given the biggest indicator yet that Tenet is sticking to its guns and releasing on July 17.

Deadline is reporting that Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi had some reassuring news during a recent conference call.

"We’ve been in close contact with Warner Bros. and they remain optimistic and positive as well as Christopher Nolan about the July 17 opening," Zoradi said.

Of course, that's what they would say, right? Maybe not. As the date nears ever closer, cinema chains have to start prepping and planning for big releases. With just weeks away and no news of a delay, it appears that Tenet releasing in July will be a reality, not a pipe dream.

Tenet release date: still July 17 (for now)

So, the basics: as of writing, Tenet is due out on July 17. That hasn’t changed since it was first announced. What has changed, however, is the very deliberate wording attached to marketing materials, such as the new trailer, as well as posters.

Instead of drawing attention to the Tenet release date of July 17, now it’s simply "Coming to theaters". Curiously, the official Tenet website still makes pointed reference to its July window.

So, July 17? An indefinite time in the future? Which is it? The one certainty is that it’s coming to theaters, not on-demand. For a more official point-of-view for the release date, it’s worth referring back to Warner Bros and, specifically, its CEO's comment on when it wants to release Tenet.

“We are committed to – and are excited about – releasing Tenet in theaters this summer or whenever theaters reopen,” Ann Sarnoff said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter in April.

But plans change, as does the ever-fluid situation surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. A recent report from Deadline suggests that Tenet will only meet its target if 80% of the world’s theaters are open. Not an impossibility – the UK is set to re-open its screens on July 4, for example – but the reliance on the US market, where the virus has hit hard, could scupper those plans.

Things, then, are still very much up in the air. Much like the movie itself, Tenet’s future timeline is in flux. As of writing, it’s still coming our way on July 17 – but a later summer release window or a further delay isn’t out of the question.

GamesRadar+'s Entertainment Writer. Lover of all things Nintendo, in a tortured love/hate relationship with Crystal Palace, and also possesses an unhealthy knowledge of The Simpsons (which is of no use at parties).