Release of big summer film 'Tenet' pushed back again

John David Washington, son of Hollywood star Denzel Washington, stars in 'Tenet,' the new Christopher Nolan blockbuster whose release has been delayed again due to the coronavirus pandemic

The release of the latest, super-secret movie by director Christopher Nolan -- touted as the summer hit that would bring audiences back to theaters after months of coronavirus lockdowns -- has been delayed again, until mid-August.

"Tenet," a thriller about an agency trying to ward off World War III, will now open on August 12, Warner Bros. said Friday, after scrapping July 17 and then July 31 for its debut.

The studio said in a statement that it will only release the movie "when exhibitors are ready and public health officials say it's time."

"In this moment what we need to be is flexible, and we are not treating this as a traditional movie release," the studio said.

The United States and Europe have slowly lifted restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the deadly virus, but new infection spikes are forcing some areas to clamp down again.

Warner Bros. says the movie will be allowed to "play longer" in theaters, part of what the studio predicts will be a "very different yet successful release strategy."

"Tenet," which has hints of the supernatural, combines the big-budget spectacle and inventive storytelling that have made Nolan one of Hollywood's most sought-after directors.

From "Memento" to "Inception" to Dunkirk" by way of the Batman "Dark Knight" trilogy, the creative British filmmaker has carved out a singular niche on the industry.

His clout is reflected in the colossal $205 million budget that US media reported was lavished on "Tenet," which stars John David Washington ("BlacKkKlansman"), Denzel Washington's son.