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Christopher Nolan's 'Tenet' release delayed

Christopher Nolan's "Tenet," which had been a highly

Christopher Nolan's "Tenet," which had been a highly anticipated summer release, has been postponed. Credit: Andrew Matthews / WPA Pool / Getty Images

In an ominous sign for Hollywood and the theatrical exhibition business that the release of Christopher Nolan’s long-awaited “Tenet” has been postponed.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, “Tenet” has been a signpost of optimism that theaters would reopen and welcome back eager audiences. The $200 million action thriller, starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, held onto its original July 17 release date for many weeks and has been pushed back twice, most recently to Aug. 12. But with theaters around the country still largely shuttered and no guarantee that the major markets of Los Angeles and New York City will be reopening anytime soon, that date was looking increasingly unrealistic.

“We will share a new 2020 release date imminently for Tenet, Christopher Nolan’s wholly original and mind-blowing feature,” Warner Bros. chairman Toby Emmerich said in a statement. “We are not treating Tenet like a traditional global day-and-date release, and our upcoming marketing and distribution plans will reflect that.” (Day-and-date releases are those provided to theaters and home entertainment platforms simultaneously.)

Warner Bros.’ move could mean the final blow to what little is left of the summer movie season. As of Monday, Disney’s live-action version of “Mulan,” also considered a potential blockbuster, is still scheduled for release on Aug. 21.

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