Warner Bros. has finally given up on a 'traditional' summer release for Tenet

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Tenet, which had been set to be the first big movie released in reopened theaters, has been delayed yet again.

Warner Bros. on Monday announced it's delaying Christopher Nolan's Tenet indefinitely, Variety reports. This is the movie's third delay; it was originally intended to open on July 17 and was most recently scheduled to open on Aug. 12. Now it no longer has a release date, but the studio said a new one will be announced "imminently." The decision from Warner Bros. comes amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

"We're grateful for the support we've received from exhibitors and remain steadfast in our commitment to the theatrical experience around the world," Warner Bros. chair Toby Emmerich said on Monday. "Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to proliferate, causing us to reevaluate our release dates."

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While no new release date for the film has been announced, it seems likely that the next one will be outside the typical summer movie season in the U.S., and Deadline reports a domestic rollout beginning on Sept. 11 has been speculated. Emmerich also said on Monday that "we are not treating Tenet like a traditional global day-and-date release," and Variety reports "there's a chance" the film could end up first playing overseas in countries where theaters have been permitted to reopen. Variety also cites insiders as saying it could be released "in select U.S. cities" that have fewer COVID-19 cases.

Theater chains in the U.S. previously announced plans to reopen in the summer in time for Tenet and Disney's Mulan, which as of now is scheduled to open on Aug. 21.

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.