As an acorn of the metaverse, Fortnite’s Party Royale mode is already expanding past music shows into other sorts of unique events, one of which is taking place tonight.
That would be the debut of a movie trailer, one for Christopher Nolan’s so-far-mysterious Tenet, which stars John David Washington and Robert Pattinson and is about…actually I have no idea. We’ve only had 1.5 trailers for it so far, both cryptic, and it has something to do with micro-time travel to solve crimes. Or something.
In any case, this is different than the two weeks of live EDM shows we’ve had in Party Royale, though the trailer will debut in the big screen in the same spot at 8 PM ET tonight, and be playing every hour on the hour. (Update: actually, this is a different spot across the island literally called “The Big Screen.”)
Fortnite has of course experimented with TV and movie footage before, but that’s been in Risky Reels on the actual Battle Royale map, whether that was showing Quibi shows (RIP Quibi) or playing music videos (the problem there is that people can build in front of the screen and also kill you). And of course, Fortnite had a big Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker event where JJ Abrams had his own avatar and played a (very insignificant clip) from the film after being chased by TIE Fighters while flying the Millennium Falcon.
That was a whole spectacle, but from what I can tell, the Tenet trailer should be less of a super involved debut, and they’ll probably play the trailer on the screen with some mood lighting (maybe no holographic dancing girls in that zone for this, yeah?). I am also not expecting Chris Nolan to show up or the game to offer Robert Pattinson skins when this is over.
I have been delighted to watch a bunch of extremely confused film journalists have to ask their kids how to get into Fortnite to watch this trailer debut, but no doubt it will show up on YouTube shortly thereafter. We still don’t know the exact fate of Tenet given the current theater situation with the pandemic, and it seems likely it’s mid-July debut is going to be pushed back. I suppose it’s possible that we get a new date tonight, but I don’t think anyone really knows or understands when actual theatrical releases are coming back, and Nolan does not seem like the type of guy to agree to release his movie on demand for its first run.
Anyway, I will be there at eight. See you there.
Update: The trailer aired on time, along with some bonus chat between Geoff Keighley (he’s everywhere) and star John David Washington via Zoom. It was a good trailer! I still barely understand what’s going on. You could zoom in on it during the airing with the “focus” feature in Party Royale. People kept shooting arrows and throwing paint bombs at the screen, but it wasn’t too bad.
Update 2: Here’s the actual trailer, which went up on YouTube pretty much immediately