Is 'Tenet' Christopher Nolan's Stealth Sequel To 'Inception'?

Tom Nicholson
·2 min read
Photo credit: Syncopy
Photo credit: Syncopy

From Esquire

The new three-minute trailer for Christopher Nolan's Tenet is here, and in the time-honoured Nolan fashion it's left everyone with more questions than answers. Even the Dunkirk trailer managed to make an event that happened 80 years ago seem like it might involve a wormhole to another dimension.

There's a lot to unpack there, but one of the bubbling theories when the first Tenet trailer dropped was that this would be a kind-of sequel to Inception – not a straightforward picking up of the story that Leo DiCaprio's Dom Cobb left hanging, but a shading in of the reasons why time and space are more malleable in the Inception-verse.

"Is Nolan not offering some other perspective into Inception's universe and the various sci-fi tools used to do transcendent espionage therein?," asked one Redditor, with a degree of verbal obfuscation that Nolan would have been proud of, during a discussion.

One tantalising theory is that Tenet will pivot around a military experiment with the same kind of technology which Cobb's criminal gang would later exploit for their own ends. So, not a sequel, but a nod to the shared dream-logic of Nolan's films.

Another suggestion – and this might be a reach – is that in the below screenshot, Rob Pattinson and John David Washington are talking while in the same limbo city where Cobb went to visit his family.

Photo credit: Syncopy
Photo credit: Syncopy

It might even be that Michael Caine's tweedy professor in Inception is revisited in Tenet. Don't bother asking Caine what Tenet's about, though.

"All I had was one day’s work and he gave me my pages," Caine told The Hindu in March. "I did my part and shot only with John David [Washington]. I haven’t heard anything since." You can't fool us, Michael – we're taking that as a definite yes.

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