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SYFY WIRE Kenneth Branagh

Warner Bros. reveals details and cast for Christopher Nolan's next epic, Tenet

By Matthew Jackson
Christopher Nolan

Next summer, for the first time since Dunkirk in 2017, we will have a new Christopher Nolan movie to look forward to, and in true Nolan fashion, exactly what we'll be seeing when the time comes is still very much under wraps. Now, at least we can say we know the genre for the film, as well as a mysterious title. 

Warner Bros. announced Wednesday that Nolan's next film will be titled Tenet, as in a key belief or principle. The plot is, of course, still a secret, but it's now being described as "an action epic evolving from the world of international espionage," with the production value to go with it. Nolan, who also wrote the screenplay, will shoot Tenet across seven different countries, in his preferred format of IMAX and 70mm film.

The studio also revealed the rest of the main cast for the flick, which we already knew included John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman), Robert Pattinson (High Life), and Elizabeth Debicki (Widows). Now we also know that Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Godzilla), Kenneth Branagh (All Is True), Clemence Poesy (the Harry Potter series), Indian film legend Dimple Kapadia, and Nolan mainstay Michael Caine will also join the cast, setting the stage for the kind of an all-star ensemble that we've come to expect from the director's films.

Nolan is one of the few filmmakers working today who can generate massive hype for a project by saying almost nothing at all, and so far the same is true of Tenet. Nolan's last two films — the sci-fi family saga Interstellar and the war drama Dunkirk — were epic, but they weren't necessarily action epics. When we think of action and espionage when it comes to Nolan, it's impossible not to think of his dream heist classic Inception, but it's also doubtful the director would repeat himself.

Could Tenet be a kind of superspy drama like the Jason Bourne franchise, allowing Nolan to work within a heightened action framework? It would be a lot of fun to see him move within superspy territory, but even if this ends up being more of a grounded thriller about "real" espionage work, it'll be a gorgeous and compelling thing to see.

Tenet arrives in theaters July 12, 2020.