Christopher Nolan is one of the most beloved filmmakers working today. His films not only are well made, with many being completely original ideas (a sad rarity in today’s blockbuster business), but they’re also some of the most analyzed, as fans spend hours and hours trying to figure out the hidden meanings in his features. And with a new film on the horizon, “Tenet,” with its uber-mysterious marketing, fans are already developing theories about a secret connection between the new feature and Nolan’s own “Inception.”
The idea of a “secret sequel” isn’t unique to “Tenet.” Just recently, a couple of years back, we saw M. Night Shyamalan surprise audiences by revealing at the end that “Split” was secretly a sequel to “Unbreakable.” And with the timey-wimey silliness in the “Tenet” trailers, with little explanation for the plot, there are some fans that believe that maybe Nolan is hiding a big secret, such as the new film being a sequel to his previous blockbuster, “Inception,” which featured another group of handsome people using ridiculous, supernatural means in their jobs.
Speaking in a new Esquire video, “Tenet” star, John David Washington, is presented this theory and goes so far as to refute the idea that they’re film siblings and instead goes on about how they’re more like in-laws. You know, the people you’re related to but not by blood or any real way other than circumstance.
“I’d say [‘Tenet’] is an in-law to ‘Inception,’” Washington said. “They’re related by marriage. They get together for Thanksgivings, family barbecues, like that kind of thing. Other than that, one lives in Europe, the other one lives in Compton.”
And right before the video cuts away, Washington is seen laughing, presumably because he’s just fucking with fans and clearly refuting the idea that “Inception” and “Tenet” are somehow related. At the same time, one can argue that directly related as a sequel, Washington is being truthful to the extent that they’re spiritually related ideas.
So, though this is likely not enough proof for some Nolan fans, as they will need to see the film to judge for themselves, for the rest of us, we probably shouldn’t go into “Tenet” expecting to be wowed by a surprise cameo by Leonardo DiCaprio or Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Unless they’re playing new characters, of course.
For now, “Tenet” is expected to hit theaters on July 17. Maybe. Probably. Possibly. Who the hell knows, at this point?
You can watch Washington talk about the theory below: