Christopher Nolan Talks Robert Pattinson Starring in 'The Batman' and the Precarious Theatrical Release of 'Tenet'

Director Christopher Nolan has been virtually making the publicity rounds in support of the release of Tenet in movie theaters across several international markets. Though there’s been a lot of discussion about whether it’s responsible or smart for Warner Bros. Pictures to release Tenet in theaters right now, especially in the United States, Nolan hasn’t directly addressed the issue himself. But in a recent interview, the director did discuss the idea of his film being labeled as the savior of movie theaters during this difficult time.

Outside of Tenet, the filmmaker behind The Dark Knight Trilogy was inevitably questioned about the casting of his Tenet co-star Robert Pattinson as the latest iteration of The Caped Crusader in Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman. In fact, Pattinson found out that he landed the role of Batman while on the set of Tenet, and Nolan chatted about the vibe on set after the casting news broke.

Nolan was recently interviewed by Singapore’s CNA news outlet, and the director was asked how he felt about Tenet being called a “savior of cinema” in the wake of the pandemic. Nolan said:

“All I can really take responsibility for is making the best film that I can. I think cinema is bigger than any one film one way or another, and I think people tend to simplify things a bit, particularly in a time like this. I’m just very pleased that the studio feels they can let the film play in places where theaters have been able to open. Obviously, that’s not the release we imagined when we were making the film. But then, the world is not as we had imagined it would be when we made the film, and we had to adapt like everybody else. I’m just very, very pleased that audiences around the world are beginning to be able to respond to the film, because, for me as a filmmaker, the film is not finished until the audiences gets to see it and tell me what it is that I’ve done.”

Reviews have been mixed from the international critics that have seen Tenet so far. There have been consistent complaints about how muddled and messy the script is, but the action sequences in the movie have been lauded as some of the best ever seen on the big screen. It’s just a shame many audiences in the United States won’t be enjoying it because of our incompetent governments and their mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic.

Anyway, since Christopher Nolan is best known for being at the helm of The Dark Knight trilogy, the interview eventually came around to the fact that Robert Pattinson found out that he’d landed the lead role in The Batman while shooting Tenet. Pattinson recently revealed that he tried to keep the audition a secret, but Nolan knew exactly what as going on. The actor told The Irish Times earlier this month:

“It’s funny because Chris is so secretive about everything to do with his movies. And then I had to be really secretive about Batman stuff. So I had to lie to Chris about having to go for a screen test — I said I had a family emergency. And as soon as I said ‘It’s a family emergency,’ he said, ‘You’re doing the Batman audition, aren’t you?’”

And the rest, as they say, is history. So did Pattinson talk to Nolan about the role after he locked it down? Did the director have any advice for the actor taking on such a Herculean task? The director said:

“He certainly did not ask me for any advice. We kept a respectful silence around the issue until very near the end of the shoot. We said a couple of things and made a couple of jokes. We did have a little bit of a conversation about the various aspects of what he was going to be putting himself through. But I was thrilled that he was cast, and I think he’ll do an amazing job. I’m really excited to see what he does with that character.”

We wish that Nolan would have gotten a little more specific with the jokes cracked on set, as well as their discussion about what was in store for Pattinson by taking on such a highly scrutinized role. But Nolan typically doesn’t open up a lot about details like that, choosing to keep the conversations between those directly involved. We can respect that, but it doesn’t do much to satisfy our curiosity.

Tenet is coming to theaters next week, with early access screenings starting on August 31 before the film comes to even more theaters on September 3, 2020. We don’t want to actively encourage anyone in the United States to seek out the movie in theaters since we don’t think it’s safe to do so yet, but if you do head out to theaters, please be safe out there.

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