Christopher Nolan recently went on a very public tirade about the importance of movies, including his, being seen on the big screen — but if anyone’s interested in watching Tenet’s opening prologue, they can do so now on YouTube.
Warner Bros. has posted the film’s first six minutes on YouTube ahead of the movie’s digital release next week. Don’t worry about spoilers for the time-warping heist film, there aren’t any. (I saw Tenet when it was released at a theater in suburban Canada; it was me and one other person at the other end of the theater.) The scene follows John David Washington’s Protagonist and a couple of other characters as they enter an auditorium to complete a mission. That’s really all you need to know. It’s a pretty fun, entirely Christopher Nolan segment that works on its own.
Both Tenet and Nolan have become part of the news cycle again following Nolan’s condemning of Warner Bros. for deciding to release all 17 of its 2021 films on HBO Max the same day they debut in theaters. As Nolan put it in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, “Some of our industry’s biggest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before thinking they were working for the greatest movie studio and woke up to find out they were working for the worst streaming service.” Since then, other directors including Dune director Denis Villeneuve and Judd Apatow have voiced their own displeasure with Warner Bros. decision.
In a year where theatrical movie releases all but ceased to exist, Nolan’s Tenet was the last big blockbuster of 2020 — and it became a guidepost for other studios. Although the movie performed well internationally, amassing more than $300 million, it performed poorly in the United States, bringing in just $52 million. With coronavirus cases surging around the world, WarnerMedia decided to bet on growing its HBO Max service in the United States by pursuing a hybrid release format.
If you missed Tenet in theaters, and this six-minute prologue convinces you to check out Nolan’s movie, it’ll be available to purchase digitally and on Blu-ray on December 15th.