Usually when the first seven minutes of a recent blockbuster hit YouTube, anti-piracy sirens start blaring and the Intellectual Property Cops kick down the doors of whichever pirate successfully smuggled the footage onto the internet. Not so with Tenet, the mind-bending new blockbuster from Christopher Nolan, which Warner Bros. has now sliced and shared for free.
In case you missed it, Tenet is one of roughly forty billion big-screen projects to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. With cinemas shuttered across the globe, and audiences skeptical of visiting the ones which are open, the movie industry has been largely left without cinemas. Not great.
Tenet did experience a cinematic release in Australia in August thanks to low rates of community transmission in several states. But Tenet was broadly expected to be a global blockbuster hit, in keeping with Nolan’s prior successes. Fears over the virus in key markets, like the US, kept that from happening.
This is a roundabout way of saying that Warner Bros. is now preparing to launch a bunch of its upcoming movies, including Dune and the new Space Jam, on HBO’s streaming service. It’ll be a huge move, and one that won’t sit well with some cinephiles, but it does mean that big studios are dabbling with home releases at the same time as theatre debuts.
Tenet appears to be some kind of guinea pig for all of that, and the folks behind it would really, really like to catch it when it hits streaming services. They’ll even share seven minutes of it for free, apparently.
Cop the Tenet prologue below: