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Tenet will stream on HBO Max on May 1

John David Washington as The Protagonist in "Tenet."
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Tenet — the latest physics-bending film from director Christopher Nolan, which got caught up in the global pandemic before finally seeing a limited release in theaters in late 2020 — will stream on HBO Max starting May 1, 2021.

The film became something of a flashpoint for the movie industry. Theaters were (rightfully) shut down because of COVID-19. But Nolan continued to push for the film's delay and for it to be released in theaters — and for theaters to open for the film probably sooner than they could safely do so.

That eventually happened. Tenet got its theatrical release on Dec. 15, 2020, and a number of weeks later it hit video-on-demand. But the question hanging over the film the whole time was whether Warner Bros. — and its parent company, AT&T — would bite the inverted bullet and just release Tenet on HBO Max. It didn't, though, which brings us to the May 1 streaming release.

On one hand, you can't blame Nolan. Films are a huge endeavor, and Nolan's tend to be visual spectacles. Tenet was no different. (Though I'd argue it worked just fine on a TV. Or at least a theater wouldn't do anything to lessen the confusion of the plot in any event.) And finally landing on HBO Max brings more eyeballs to the film in any event.

HBO Max, meanwhile, remains $14.99 a month and is available on all major streaming platforms. That means you can watch HBO Max on Roku, which is the biggest streaming platform in the United States, and you can watch HBO Max on Amazon Fire TV, which is No. 2.

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Phil Nickinson

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for and Mobile Nations, is the Dad part of Modern Dad, and is editor of