The Tenet runtime has reportedly been revealed, and folks are in for a bit of a surprise – it’s not quite as epic as some of Christopher Nolan’s recent blockbusters. The international espionage thriller is encased in secrecy, but we do know that John David Washington stars as “The Protagonist” in an absolutely stacked ensemble that includes Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Michael Caine. We also know that the film deals with something called “time inversion” which is definitely not time travel but also not not time travel either? It’s confusing but exciting nonetheless.
So how long is Tenet? As revealed by a Korean ratings board (via The Independent), the film reportedly runs 149 minutes and 59 seconds, or almost exactly 2 hours and 30 minutes. That’s not too bad! Not too long, not too short. Very Goldilocks of Mr. Nolan.
Here’s how the Tenet runtime stacks up against the rest of Nolan’s filmography from shortest to longest:
Following – 1 hour and 9 minutes
Dunkirk – 1 hour and 46 minutes
Memento – 1 hour and 53 minutes
Insomnia – 1 hour and 58 minutes
The Prestige – 2 hours and 10 minutes
Batman Begins – 2 hours and 20 minutes
Inception – 2 hours and 28 minutes
Tenet – 2 hours and 29 minutes
The Dark Knight – 2 hours and 32 minutes
The Dark Knight Rises – 2 hours and 44 minutes
Interstellar – 2 hours and 49 minutes
So as you can see, Tenet falls in line with most of Nolan’s recent blockbusters but is not quite as epic as Interstellar or the trilogy-concluding The Dark Knight Rises. Plus Dunkirk was a unique scenario because that film was fully immersive and played out in pseudo-real-time fashion, hence the short runtime.
As for when we’ll actually get to see Tenet, that’s a different question entirely. The film was originally set to hit theaters this Friday, July 17th, but then Warner Bros. pushed it to late July, and then again to August 12th. With COVID-19 cases rising rapidly across the United States and states like California shutting down again, it doesn’t feel like movie theaters will be opening soon despite their optimism.
Will WB risk releasing Tenet as the pandemic swells, or will they delay the film once again to September or October? Time will tell, but at least we know how long we’ll be asked to sit in the theater once we do get to see Tenet.