Christopher Nolan’s Tenet turned out to be the riskiest movie of 2020. Not because of its content, but due to the circumstances of its release. While other big-budget movies were either postponed or released online, Nolan insisted on releasing Tenet in theaters even as the global health emergency showed no signs of slowing down. George Clooney, who is promoting his new Netflix movie The Midnight Sky, told THR that trying to make people go to cinema halls right now is “tricky”.
“Good timing that I was with Netflix, huh? I mean, it’s funny. Tenet and us are like the only two big films that are coming out this year… I haven’t seen [Tenet] either. Trying to force people into a movie theater is an awfully tricky thing to do when you’re in the middle of [an emergency].”
The question of whether or not movie theaters should be open right now has divided Hollywood all through the year. When it was announced that Tenet was going to be released in theaters instead of online, many felt Warner Bros. was putting monetary profit ahead of people’s health. Filmmaker Scott Derrickson went so far as to take to Twitter to tell his followers, “Don’t go see Tenet or any other movie in a theater. There, I said it,” later adding, “speaking to my fellow Americans of course.”
On the other hand, there were those who insisted that going to theaters was fine as long people took the proper precautions. Tom Cruise even went so far as to post a video of himself on social media attending a theater screening of Tenet in London along with filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie.
After all the controversy, Tenet ended up underperforming at the box-office. How much of that was a result of the lockdown and how much of it was the fact that the film was Nolan’s least well-reviewed movie in a long time, is still not clear. In any case, the lukewarm response to Tenet only served to confirm the fact that streaming is the best option for films at the moment.
In The Midnight Sky, Clooney plays the lead role of Augustine, a solitary scientist stuck in the arctic in a post-apocalyptic state. The movie follows Augustine’s attempts to stop Sully, played by Felicity Jones, and her fellow astronauts from coming back to a global catastrophe. According to Clooney, what drew him to the script was that despite the movie’s bleak setting, it ultimately provides a message of hope.
“From the moment I read it, I loved the part. I loved the story. I loved what it really talks about at the end – without giving away anything, about redemption. I thought, “If you’re going to do something that’s pretty dark and doesn’t give you such a big hole in your chest, at least there’s this feeling that although we may not get out alive, we might get out intact,” you know? There is still this hope. I responded to it because of that, I think.”
Directed by George Clooney, based on the novel Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton, adapted as a screenplay by Mark L. Smith, The Midnight Sky features a lead cast consisting of George Clooney, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Tiffany Boone, Demián Bichir, Kyle Chandler, and Caoilinn Springall. The film is scheduled to be released on December 23, 2020. This news comes from The Hollywood Reporter.