Chinese exclusive trailer of 'Tenet' reveals intricacies of "time inversion"
Going full-throttle on promotions, after getting approval for theatrical release, Christopher Nolan's much-awaited tentpole Tenet has dropped a new trailer for its Chinese audience. It starts with none other than director Nolan himself introducing the film to the Chinese market. Talking about the excitement he and his cast tried to bring in this ambitious film, he wishes that the viewers have fun watching Tenet.
Why a Chinese-exclusive trailer?
China is a lucrative market for Nolan and has given almost all his films the biggest overseas business, except Dunkirk, The Dark Knight Rises and Batman Begins. These have minted the maximum money in the UK. Hence, keeping in line with this lure, Tenet's trailer had the English sub-titles modified in the native language, to prod people to "invade theaters."
Trailer: Expect Nolan's favorite theme, time travel, to get magnified
Nolan is known for his experiments with cerebral storytelling, like Memento (starring Guy Pearce) and Inception (led by Leonardo DiCaprio), to name a few. In Tenet, expect that charm of time travel/inversion to be magnified as the protagonist (John David Washington) has himself inverted along the timeline while everything else he sees around him follows the correct timeline.
Titbit: Even 'Tenet's actors were confused by the convoluted plot
Interestingly, even Nolan's actors faced trouble executing the time inversion theory in the film. "Every day I had questions for him (Nolan). But he was very gracious, and he answered them very calmly and patiently," said John in an earlier interview. The film also has Twilight star Robert Pattinson, Kenneth Branagh, Michael Caine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Debicki, and Clémence Poésy in supporting roles.
Why did 'Tenet' face a roadblock in China initially?
However, in China, the film initially faced a roadblock due to its duration. The film distributors had difficulty pitching Tenet for screening because they were ordered not to show films that are over 2 hours long. The Chinese government decided this to contain the risk of spreading coronavirus by strictly checking public gatherings. However, Tenet managed a permission on July 29 for theatrical screening.
Note: 'Tenet' releases worldwide first, then US and then China
In China, Tenet will release on September 4 while it's set for a worldwide release on August 26. It will screen in theaters in 70 countries under the condition that the theaters are located in comparatively low-risk zones. Meanwhile, in US, movie halls might open at the end of this month enabling Tenet to hit theaters in select cities over the Labor Day weekend.
Notably, theaters have opened in low-risk zones of China
Separately, film screenings have restarted on July 24 in low-risk zones of China. By July 28, 5,800 theaters have been reopened. On July 26, the Chinese box office recorded about $5.04mn worth business. Films running at that time include Bloodshot, Dolittle, 1917, A First Farewell, Interstellar and the fan-favorite Harry Potter franchise. Is this why Nolan stressed on 'big-screen" experience in the trailer?