Christopher Nolan is a huge proponent of filmmakers and theatrical releases. He has shot on film, pushed 70mm, and delivered some of the most epic stories of our generation.
His newest film, Tenet, is set to release on July 17th in IMAX and regular theaters.
But they might not be open.
Pushing the film is certainly a possibility since no one can predict the future, but Nolan is working tirelessly to help that not happen.
The CEO of IMAX, Richard Gelfond told Variety, “Chris really would like to be coming out with the film that opens theaters. I don’t know anyone in America who is pushing harder to get the theaters re-opened and to get his movie released than Chris Nolan.”
Tenet is the movie Hollywood hopes reopens its doors. It's by an acclaimed filmmaker, has an all-star cast, and is the summer blockbuster everyone is hoping rights the ship. It's also an international film; Nolan shot the movie in 7 countries across the globe. He told Entertainment Weekly, “We’re jumping off from the point of view of an espionage film, but we’re going to a number of different places,” Nolan said. “We’re crossing a few different genres in a hopefully exciting and fresh way. [Producer] Emma [Thomas] and I have put together a lot of large-scale productions, but this is certainly the biggest in terms of international reach. We shot in seven countries, all over the place, with a massive cast and huge set pieces. There’s no question, it’s the most ambitious film we’ve made.”
Can that ambition echo outside of the actual film and into its distribution?
There’s no way Warner Bros. will abandon a theatrical release and put the film on VOD like Universal did with Trolls World Tour, so what's the plan?
Aside from "pushing", what else can Nolan do?
John Fithian, CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), laid out new guidelines that theaters will use to ensure a safe theatrical experience.
But we still don't have a date for national openings, and it seems unlikely movies like Tenet will return if 50% of the audience doesn't have the movie playing in their hometown.
Still, only time will tell what happens.
Hopefully, the world gets this crisis solved so we can all enjoy the summer movie season in theaters and not in our homes.