Like so many major blockbusters nowadays, fan theories just proliferate as soon as it hits cinemas - and Christopher Nolan's 'Tenet' is no different.
While the movie is a complex weaving of storylines, time-inversion, overbearing sound mixing, and impeccable suits, a fan theory has emerged that's taken on a life of its own. It's one that just plausible enough to be real, but daft enough to discredit it.
The movie sees John David Washington as an unnamed CIA agent who's sent after a Russian arms dealer, played by Kenneth Branagh, who has figured out a way of communing with the future. His wife, played by Elizabeth Debicki, is being held in an abusive relationship while her son is being kept under his tight control. John David Washington's character is paired up with a British intelligence agent named Neil, played by Robert Pattinson.
The theory? Robert Pattinson's character is actually the young son at the centre of the relationship between Elizabeth Debicki and Kenneth Branagh. Her son, Max, eventually grows up, changes his name to Neil, and becomes the agent who helps to go after his own father and saves his mother from his abusive father.
Where's the evidence to back up this theory? Well, for one, it's in the name. Max is short for Maximilien. You take the last four letters and what does that spell? Neil. Not only that, Robert Pattinson's hair was dyed blonde for the role, similar to Elizabeth Debicki's. Take that, the strong jawline, the painfully posh accent, and they could be mother and son. Next up, we know that Neil casually mentions he has a degree in physics and that he's well-educated. Almost every time we see Max, he's either at school or he's learning about something. Even Sator remarks about how expensive his schooling is.
Not only that, the whole protecting the younger version of himself mirrors John David Washington's character. We find out in the final scene of the movie that John David Washington's character was the one who actually set up Tenet, and that he basically recruited himself into the organisation. So while John David Washington is working towards the future, Robert Pattinson is working towards the past. He's gone into the past to protect the man who recruited him - John David Washington - and to protect his mother and his child self.
But, is it actually real or are we just imagining it? See, this is the problem with fan theories in general. Once you get a general idea, other things start to fixate and you suddenly see certain points that have no bearing whatsoever as part of it. For example, the Max / Neil name thing? Maximilien is how you spell it in French. In English, it's spelt as Maximilian. Likewise, the fact that Robert Pattinson's hair being dyed blonde could simply just be a style choice rather than anything else.
Over to you - do you think it's real? Let us know!