'Tenet' trailer: Robert Pattinson and John David Washington join forces for Christopher Nolan's time-bending thriller

Ethan Alter
Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

2020 marks the 20th anniversary of Christopher Nolan’s breakthrough hit, Memento, and the director is celebrating the occasion by making another time-bending thriller. The first trailer for his 11th feature, Tenet, debuted today and based on this two-and-a-half minute taste, it’s going to be another A-list mindbender from the architect behind Inception and The Dark Knight trilogy. (Watch the trailer above.)

As always with Nolan works-in-progress, specific details about the plot of Tenet are scarce. What the trailer does reveal is that the movie’s central character — played by breakout BlackKklansman star, John David Washington — has precognitive abilities that are put to the test by the movie’s action-packed plot. “That test you passed? Not everybody does,” remarks character actor Martin Donovan after Washington wakes up from what we have to assume was his final exam before being put into the field. “Welcome to the afterlife.”

While the specifics of Washington’s mission are cloudy, the stakes couldn’t be higher: His job is to stop the outbreak of World War III. His partner-in-prevention is Robert Pattinson, who in a funny coincidence was in the middle of filming Tenet when he discovered he’d be taking over Christian Bale’s old Bat-amor as the new Dark Knight. And yes, Nolan did have some advice for Gotham City’s newest citizen. “Chris told me a little bit about how to get the camo off my face — that amongst other things,” the actor told Yahoo Entertainment earlier this year.

Pattinson also could have sought Bat-advice from former Alfred, Michael Caine, who continues his tradition of appearing in every Nolan movie. Joining the iconic British actor in Tenet’s A-list ensemble Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh and Himesh Patel. As always, though, the real star of Tenet promises to be Nolan’s elaborately constructed narratives and emphasis on practical action sequences that happen in real locations around the world. That’s the mixture that has Twitter so enthused. No less an authority than Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol director, Brad Bird, led the praise for Nolan’s vision.

We don’t have to have future-seeing abilities to know that this movie is gonna be a box-office monster.

Tenet time-trips its way into theaters on July 17, 2020.

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