Christopher Nolan speaks onstage during the Fourth Annual Kodak Film Awards at ASC Clubhouse on January 29, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (AFP/Rachel Murray )
As part of the promotional whirlwind around Tenet, video game sensation Fortnite will be showing one of Christopher Nolan’s older films in full — but, of course, the master of mysteries isn’t saying which one.
British director Christopher Nolan made ten films prior to 2020’s well-anticipated mindbender Tenet, and one of them is going up on a virtual big screen inside mobile, console and PC game Fortnite.
“This [northern] summer we will be screening an iconic Christopher Nolan full-length feature right here”, host Geoff Keighley said at the close of a May 21 in-game premiere event.
With no further information that leaves a lot open to speculation, but perhaps we can discount Nolan’s first three movies from the outset.
His 1998 debut Following would be an intriguing possibility, and at 69 minutes a palatable prospect for Fortnite’s chill-out zone, but not quite the promised “iconic full-length feature”.
Memento represented a year 2000 career breakthrough for not only Nolan but also ex-daytime soap actor Guy Pearce opposite The Matrix stars Carrie-Ann Moss and Joe Pantoliano.
Then Nolan worked with screen legends Al Pacino and Robin Williams for 2002’s Alaskan thriller Insomnia.
However, both predate Nolan’s long-running partnership with Warner Bros, and both scored R-rated certifications, suggesting they would not fit teen-rated Fortnite’s intended audience.
Partway through his Dark Knight Batman trilogy, Nolan worked with then-Batman Christian Bale and incumbent X-Man Hugh Jackman for illusionist thriller The Prestige. Both it and post-Batman blockbuster Inception went the same way in terms of Fortnite-friendly low-teen age ratings.
Inception also established Nolan’s ability to fuse reality-bending storylines with spectacular visual effects and astronomical box office returns — not too far from Tenet’s profile — and 2020 marks the movie’s ten-year anniversary.
The 2014 release of Interstellar took Nolan’s penchant for awe, wonder, and clever final-act twists into the far reaches of space, but both it and 2017’s Dunkirk might be too recent, and might hold too much value as rental and streaming properties, to be funneled into a free-admission Fortnite movie night.
If Inception is advantageous because of its scope, style, and ensemble, as well as its relative age, any of the Batman movies could serve a double purpose for the media giant, though at the risk of drawing attention away from its latest caped crusader.
While the Dark Knight trilogy features Tenet support Michael Caine throughout (as do three more Nolan movies to date), Warner Bros has franchise reboot The Batman in the offing for October 2021, with Tenet actor Robert Pattinson as the cowled vigilante.