Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Gets HBO Max Launch Date

Tenet will launch “on HBO via HBO Max” on May 1, the streamers announced today.

The news reflects yet another chapter for the sci-fi thriller, which was originally scheduled for theatrical release in July of 2020, prior to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Seeing its release date repeatedly shift, following the shutdown of theaters across the world, Tenet debuted in 70 countries, including Canada, France, Japan and the U.K., in August. The Warner Bros. blockbuster would first open in select U.S. cities on September 3.

While the film’s HBO Max launch will naturally bring it to a wider audience, it’s interesting to consider, bearing in mind director Christopher Nolan’s conflicted relationship with WarnerMedia. Back in December, CEO Jason Kilar announced that in response to the financial hit of the pandemic, all of HBO Max’s 2021 titles would be released simultaneously in theaters and on the streaming platform, thereby drawing the ire of blockbuster filmmakers like Nolan, and Dune‘s Denis Villeneuve. “Some of our industry’s biggest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before thinking they were working for the greatest movie studio,” Nolan had said in statement, “and woke up to find out they were working for the worst streaming service.”

Grossing nearly $58 million in North America, and over $363 million worldwide, Nolan’s latest centers on the Protagonist (John David Washington), a secret agent who must learn to manipulate time, in order to prevent an attack from the future that would destroy his present world. Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Martin Donovan, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh also star.

At the 93rd Academy Awards on April 25, the film will contend for two Oscars, including Best Achievement in Visual Effects and Best Achievement in Production Design.

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