Anyone who’s never watched a massive entertainment conglomerate’s legal team try to play Whack-A-Mole with a million very dedicated, internet-savvy moles might want to set up a Twitter search term for “Tenet” tonight; that’s the name of Christopher Nolan’s mysterious new movie, and Warner Bros. would really like it if you went to see Hobbs & Shaw to get your first peak at it. The studio made the unorthodox decision to surprise fans of automotive candy-ass nonsense with the initial teaser for Nolan’s 11th film before the film—and without releasing the promo on the internet for our oft-entitled eyes to gawk at. (Given that the company skipped Comic-Con this year, one wonders if they haven’t been missing their dose of annual exclusive viewing buzz.)
Still, this is, you know, the internet, and so “leaks” of the footage—which, uh, “reportedly” shows star John David Washington in a series of ambiguous, possibly time-travel-related scenarios—have been popping up nearly as fast as Warner’s lawyers can issue the copyright blocks. Which isn’t out of the ordinary for a big ol’ corporation, except in so far as its a fight that most major studios don’t even bother with waging at this point, operating on the assumption that the trailer is going to get out there, so people might as well be able to see it in HD on their own social media channels instead of watching blurry cellphone footage shot from 50 feet away.
Meanwhile, we still have no real clue what Tenet is about—beyond breathing masks, cracked glass, and a very Nolan-esque driving percussion score. (There’s no sign of Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, or any of the other members of the film’s big-name cast, either—just Washington, looking alternately worried and pissed-off.) We did, at least, get a look at the film’s backwards-lettered logo, along with a confirmation of the previously announced release date: July 17, 2020.