In the absence of new theatrical releases, there has been a surge in fan art relating to delayed movies. BossLogic is one of the most popular artists in that space. His latest piece of fanart envisions a crossover between the time-warping concepts found in Doctor Strange and Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Tenet.
The doctored photo takes a scene from the trailer of Tenet which sees the unnamed lead character, played by John David Washington, learning the basics of time inversion while firing a gun. The twist is provided by the mystical green rings forming around the character’s hands and gun, similar to the rings that form around Doctor Strange in the MCU when he uses the time stone, hinting that Tenet‘s time inversion is a superpower granted by the stone.
According to the Tenet trailers that have been released so far, time inversion is not so much a form of time traveling, as it is a function of retrocausality, where cause and effect are reversed, so that a bullet is fired first, and then it returns to its gun casing, or a car flips over first, and then it returns to the upright position.
Of course, the kind of time inversion we get to see John David Washington’s character perform is not actually a result of tampering with the mystical powers of the time stone. Christopher Nolan is known for basing his movies on hard science instead of magic. Even his film about magicians doing magic, The Prestige, ultimately hinged upon an actual teleportation device created by the scientists Nikola Tesla.
We have also seen through the trailers that Tenet deals with a new kind of technology that causes time inversion, in a similar manner to Inception’s fictional dream-control tech. The rest of the plot of the movie will presumably unfold when that technology falls in the wrong hands.
It might be said that Doctor Strange did the whole time-inversion thing first in his solo film, or at least, something very close to it. The end of that movie saw the Master of the Mystical Arts create a small pocket of time containing himself and Dormammu, with the events inside the pocket reversing again and again until the interdimensional being agreed to leave Earth alone.
It would be safe to say that Tenet will have a considerably less over-the-top storyline than wizards fighting gods from outer space by manipulating reality, as invisioned by BossLogic. While Nolan’s films often feature sci-fi elements and reality-bending narratives, they are always grounded in the real world as much as possible. That is what makes them different from the typical blockbuster superhero fare, even as they leave you wondering whether the whole thing had been a dream, Inception-style.
Meanwhile, Doctor Strange is preparing to go on his own reality-bending journey with the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the hotly anticipated sequel directed by Sam Raimi which will see the good doctor teaming up with Scarlet Witch to explore the multiverse and all its horrors.