'Tenet' Debuts Time-Bending Trailer on 'Fortnite'

Warner Bros. has unveiled a new look at the Christopher Nolan tentpole.

Tenet is back with a new trailer, which made its world debut Thursday on Fortnite. The film has been subject to speculation over whether it will stick to the July 17 release date that Warner Bros. set for the pic, which has been the only summer tentpole not to shift dates amid the coronavirus pandemic. Though the trailer for the time-bending Christopher Nolan film did not include a release date, the biography for the film's Twitter page now includes the July 17 date after it curiously disappeared earlier Thursday. The YouTube page hosting the trailer also has the date.

Warner Bros. dropped the first trailer for Tenet in December, but in the five months since, the marketing for the movie had gone all but dark as the world adjusted to the coronavirus pandemic, which saw theaters close around the globe and theatrical marketing campaigns shut down. But on Wednesday, Tenet came back to life with a surprise TV spot, followed by Thursday's trailer. 

Nolan, a strong proponent for the theatrical experience, has pushed to keep the July 17 date. His new film stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kenneth Branagh, Michael Caine, Dimple Kapadia and Clémence Poésy.

If Tenet opens July 17, it will be a major test of filmgoing behavior amid the coronavirus. Solstice Studios' Russell Crowe movie Unhinged is actually the first new release due out in theaters July 1, though it is much more modest in its ambitions than Tenet, or Disney's Mulan, which is set to open July 24.

If Tenet does indeed open on July 17, social distancing measures will keep theaters less than full, but box office observers note both Nolan's film and Mulan could still be successes, as there will be fewer films to compete with and U.S. theaters are often only half full, even on busy weekends.

It also was announced during the Tenet trailer reveal that Fortnite will host a full-length free screening of one of Nolan's previous pics for fans this summer, marking a true merging of blockbuster films and video games.

The Tenet trailer marks the most significant piece of film marketing to ever hit Fortnite. In December, the game turned heads when J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm debuted an exclusive scene from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ahead of that movie's release. Since then, Fortnite has delved even more into areas of entertainment outside of gaming. In April, Epic Games’ free-to-play battle royale hit saw rapper Travis Scott appear virtually in the game, performing his new single “Astronomical.” The event drew a record 12 million concurrent views. Earlier in February, DJ Marshmello hosted an in-game concert, drawing 10 million concurrent players.