[Editor’s note: The following post contains spoilers for “Tenet”]
As “Tenet” continues to slowly build an audience in the U.S. (the film’s domestic box office stands at $36 million after three weekends), leading star John David Washington is already looking ahead to the next installment. While neither Warner Bros. nor Christopher Nolan have announced plans to develop a “Tenet 2,” Washington tells Esquire he’s ready for more big-budget espionage action and says “Tenet” ends with the perfect set-up for a sequel.
For much of “Tenet,” Washington’s The Protagonist is under the assumption that he has only recently met Robert Pattinson’s operative Neil to work together on the movie’s mission to prevent World War III. Nolan’s ending reveals that the two characters have known each other for many years (or will know each other) given the reverse flow of time. It was The Protagonist who recruited Neil to join the eponymous spy program, The Protagonist just hasn’t gotten to that point on the timeline. The reveal leaves the door open for “Tenet 2” to explore any number of Protagonist-Neil adventures.
“In my mind, that’s a yes!” Washington told Esquire about “Tenet” setting up a sequel. “We will be doing this again, we’ll see you in a couple of years. In reality, I don’t know. Chris does what he wants. Maybe he has something that he’s developed for years that he wants to do next, maybe he’s been inspired by something else he sees and wants to do that, I don’t know. I hope we get to do it again, I hope we get to explore more, because I think we found something really unique.”
A potential “Tenet 2” could also touch upon one of the more popular fan theories floating around the internet about Nolan’s latest tentpole. In the film, Elizabeth Debicki’s Kat is determined to save her young son Max from his villainous father, Kenneth Branagh’s Russian oligarch Sator. Some fans believe that Max is a child version of Neil given the flexible flow of time, to which Washington told Esquire, “I saw that one the other day — I like that! I don’t know if it’s true or not, you gotta ask Chris, but if there’s another [movie] and they introduce that, that would be a lot of fun. We’ll see what happens.”
While “Tenet” hasn’t proven to be a breakout U.S. hit (theaters in top markets such as New York City and Los Angeles remain closed), the film has preformed much stronger overseas and has passed the $250 million mark at the worldwide box office. Nolan hasn’t announced any follow-up projects.