'Tenet' Opening Overseas This Summer Before Opening In The United States [UPDATED]

Update: As previously rumored, Christopher Nolan's Tenet is indeed getting a release overseas before it comes to the U.S. According to CNN, the spy thriller will open in territories like Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the UK on August 26, 2020 before opening in select cities two weeks later for Labor Day, on September 2, 2020. It's unclear which U.S. cities will get to see the movie first, but we'll let you know when we hear more. Our original article continues.Tenet, the movie that keeps getting delayed due to the coronavirus, is now in a kind of limbo. Rather than keep kicking the can down the lane, Warner Bros. pulled the Christopher Nolan movie off its schedule entirely, and are waiting to announce a new date. When the news came that the film was being pulled yet again, it was accompanied by rumblings that Warners would be throwing out the traditional release playbook. Instead, the studio might be considering opening Tenet overseas this summer first, while us saps here in the U.S. wait around to see what happens next. There's nothing official yet, but today, there's even more evidence that this is the plan.

The latest Tenet release date delay came accompanied by a message from Warner Bros. chairman Toby Emmerich: "We are not treating Tenet like a traditional global day-and-date release, and our upcoming marketing and distribution plans will reflect that." In other words, Christopher Nolan's big blockbuster might see the light of day elsewhere before it arrives on U.S. shores.

Now, according to Variety, there's more proof of that. Exhibitors in the U.K., France, and Spain have all reportedly been told by Warners to plan for an August 26-28 release date for Tenet. While absolutely nothing is confirmed yet, Variety adds that "sources indicate that talks are positive." And an anonymous exhibitor told Variety that "the tipping point in favor of an international release ahead of a U.S. bow ultimately comes down to the reopening of China cinemas this past week."

Earlier today, we ran a story revealing that the Gerard Butler disaster movie Greenland was delaying its domestic release and instead of opening overseas first. In that post, I theorized that while Greenland is a small movie compared to Tenet, it seems inevitable that major studios would start considering the same option. All that said, none of this is written in stone. For one thing, overseas markets could suddenly experience a coronavirus spike, which would effectively kill this plan. For another thing, Tenet is a very secretive movie, and there's some concern that releasing it overseas would end up spoiling the movie for U.S. audiences who have to wait to see it.

Bottom line: we're in uncharted waters here. Studios have to be flexible right now because the coronavirus is unpredictable, and no one can say for certain when things will get back to "normal," assuming such a thing is even possible. We're all just going to have to stay tuned and see how this plays out in the next few weeks, and beyond.