• Director Christopher Nolan’s Tenet movie has opened internationally, ahead of premiering in a number of US cities starting next month.
  • However, several Hollywood directors — including Joe and Anthony Russo of Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame — think theaters are still generally too unsafe of an environment to visit right now because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
  • The latest director to agree with them is Scott Derrickson, who directed Marvel’s Doctor Strange.

I’ve been refreshing the website for the regional theater chain based here in Memphis where I live all morning, trying to get my hands on some Tenet movie tickets — the first I’ve bought since maybe January or February. You’ll never guess why.

Theaters here have been reopening on a rolling basis, which comes at a time when, knock on wood, our local coronavirus cases are starting to fall to much more manageable and no-longer-worrisome levels. Nevertheless, don’t get me wrong — I don’t have any intention of stepping foot inside a theater again anytime soon, never mind how amazing director Christopher Nolan thinks his latest feature film is. Tenet is, however, reportedly coming to our local drive-in theater, which I’ll be more than happy to buy a ticket for. Watching the movie from the safety of my car, fine. Sitting alone indoors in a room with a bunch of strangers while we still don’t have a coronavirus vaccine, though, is just not something I’m keen on right now — and yet another Hollywood director has more or less agreed with this stance in recent days.

Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson tweeted out his assessment that no one should be going to theaters to see Tenet right now. He followed that up with a clarification that he’s referring to Americans, as opposed to other countries around the world that have responded much more aggressively to the coronavirus pandemic.

Derrickson also retweeted the following from Twitter user @mangiotto: “If you go see a movie in a theater right now, you are selfishly prolonging this crisis while endangering yourself, your family, and every stranger who may occupy a space you’ve vacated anywhere you go once you’ve been infected. You don’t care about others. You suck.”

Epidemiologist Dr. Abdul El-Sayed recently told The A.V. Club that going to see a movie on the big screen is “just about the last thing I’d do right now.” Nevertheless, Nolan’s latest big-screen epic has already opened internationally and is coming to cities around the US in September — though Derrickson isn’t the only Hollywood director who thinks it’s a bit unsafe to see a film like this in an indoor theater right now.

Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors of Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame, recently said in a video interview that the current state of the coronavirus pandemic makes the idea of visiting a movie theater — and sitting in a confined space with strangers not far away for a couple of hours — just way too risky of an activity to undertake right now.

“I think everyone has a different threshold for risk, it seems, in the country right now,” Joe Russo said. “I think that really depends what your threshold for risk is, but certainly being in an enclosed space is a high-risk situation. So there’s the question of whether we want that to happen, which we do, but whether that’s practical and safe and whether we can recommend it, which I don’t think we could. Just from the way that I’m approaching the pandemic with my family is we’re very conservative about it.”

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.