First teaser for Christopher Nolan's ultra-secretive 'Tenet' debuts before 'Hobbs & Shaw'

Ben Arnold
Christopher Nolan (Credit: Warner Bros)
Christopher Nolan (Credit: Warner Bros)

Maintaining his reputation as the most secretive blockbuster director in the world, Christopher Nolan has dropped an unannounced teaser for his new movie, Tenet.

Movie fans in the US heading to see Fast & Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw have been treated to a cryptic, 40-second snippet of the film, an espionage thriller which sounds distinctly like it will feature time travel.

Stoking the intrigue deftly, the trailer begins with a shot of reinforced glass with a bullet hole in it, which is being inspected by BlacKkKlansman star John David Washington, the movie's lead.

“Time has come for a new protagonist,” reads a title on the screen, as Washington then investigates a second bullet hole.

John David Washington attends the the 2019 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuosos Tribute on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Santa Barbara, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
John David Washington (Credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

“Time has come for a new kind of mission,” reads a second title, with Washington repeating notably similar movements.

Further footage shows Washington running while wearing riot gear, punching a man and appearing to be captured by two men, before concluding with a shot of him in an oxygen mask as a door swings open in front of him.

Read more: Tenet to have palindromic structure?

The Tenet logo (‘tenet’ being a palindrome, you notice, and being stylised as ‘TENƎꓕ’ by Nolan’s company Syncopy) also appears, moving variously backwards and anti-clockwise, which, along with the mentions of 'time' in the titles all strongly points towards Nolan approaching a mind-bending time-travel project akin to his high-concept hit, Inception.

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 12: Elizabeth Debicki attends the Women in Film Annual Gala 2019 presented by Max Mara at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 12, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/FilmMagic,)
Elizabeth Debicki attends the Women in Film Annual Gala 2019. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/FilmMagic,)

The director is clearly cracking on at pace with the movie, which was only announced in March this year, with filming taking place in a reported seven countries, including the UK, Estonia and India.

It’s currently shooting on location in Italy.

Also starring Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy, Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh, and with photography by his Interstellar and Dunkirk collaborator Hoyte van Hoytema, it's due for release on July 17, 2020.