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WIRE Buzz: Tenet to open internationally before U.S.; Star Trek: Discovery October premiere; The Rock's Wonka near-miss

By Jacob Oller

A week after getting indefinitely knocked off the official Warner Bros. calendar, Christopher Nolan's upcoming time-twisty thriller Tenet has figured out a new release strategy — one delayed in the U.S. due to its more pressing coronavirus concerns.

The Hollywood Reporter has the details, explaining that the film first plans to open in 70 international territories — ranging from neighboring countries like Canada to more traditionally foreign box offices like Japan — beginning on Aug. 26. Then, after seeing how that goes, the idea is to expand to "select U.S. cities" on Sept. 3.

Those select cities could be the traditional major markets of Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and more — but it could also be much smaller areas where opening a theater is either safer or where local authorities are much less concerned about the safety of their theatergoers. Regardless of social distancing measures, mask rules, and reduced ticketing, sitting in a theater for two hours is still a pipe dream for many as U.S. infection numbers hit 4M and beyond.

Tenet's scattered rollout plan begins on Aug. 26.

Next, Star Trek: Discovery has planted its flag for the streaming Trek revival’s third season, setting the stage for an October return. 

Of course the first glimpse fans see is Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) with a busted, ragtag Federation flag. She and the rest of the crew are in for a worm-whole lot of problems in this next season, which will premiere on October 15, according to the announcement video.

Check it out:

The U.S.S. Discovery will have 13 more episodes of exploration and far-future shenanigans in its third season. This news comes after a Comic-Con@Home weekend filled with Trek, be it a live-read of Discovery’s S2 finale or an extended preview of upcoming animated show Lower Decks.

The cast for the third season includes Martin-Green, Doug Jones (Commander Saru), Anthony Rapp (Lt. Commander Paul Stamets), Mary Wiseman (Ensign Sylvia Tilly), Wilson Cruz (Dr. Hugh Culber), David Ajala (Cleveland “Book” Booker), and Michelle Yeoh (Philippa Georgiou).

Star Trek: Discovery returns to CBS All Access on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Finally, a surprising piece of casting news from Dwayne Johnson himself. Well, more like almost-casting news. What was The Rock almost cooking? An entire factory full of chocolate. Yep, Dwayne Johnson almost played Willy Wonka for the Tim Burton film remake.

Posting on Instagram, Johnson explained that the director considered him for the lead role of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Of course, it didn’t happen, but what a fascinating piece of film development history.

Take a look:

“Some cool history — back in the early 2000’s, iconic director Tim Burton had considered me to play Willy Wonka is [sic] his remake, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Johnson wrote. “I remember thinking ‘HOLY S***, IM IN.’ But that was many years ago when I was just starting out in Hollywood with no foundation of global box office strength or any real acting experience to even pull it off. The role, of course went to Johnny Depp, who at that time was the biggest star in the world. The rest was history.”

Johnson still feels thankful he was considered “for all of 7 seconds,” writing that it “meant a helluva lot to me as I was just breaking in to the business with no idea what the future had in store.”

His final hashtag on the post sums up the incredible, surreal take on the character that could’ve been: #BigBrownBaldTattooedWonka.