John David Washington on Tenet sequel, would sign up to be in Marvel’s Fantastic Four

Tenet is now out in theaters, and it’s the latest from director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy). John David Washington stars as the Protagonist who’s on a mission to save the world. There’s a slight problem. He’s dealing with a threat that can invert weapons, which basically can move backward in time. During a recent interview with Nerd Reactor, the actor talks about bugging Nolan about the film’s script, possible Tenet sequel, wanting to perform in a different language for another project, and his thoughts on joining a Marvel Studios project.

Nerd Reactor: Do you think there’s going to be a sequel where your character goes further back in time?

John David Washington: I hope so. I mean, it’s up to Chris. But I would love to do this again. And because there are so many ways to go. It’s a movie that you need to see multiple times and get the discussion going. I think there’s a whole bunch of fan theories out there already. I think it’s worth it. I think we should try it. I think we should do it again.

The movie deals with time inversion and all that. What’s the best way to understand the film?

John David Washington: Well, there’s a combination. If you just follow the characters, it’s not as confusing. If you’re able to invest in what the Protagonist, Neil, Kat, Ives, and everybody’s mission is and what their motives and interactions are, it’s still enjoyable in a traditional movie sense. That’s what I would recommend. I connected to the characters.

The world that Christopher Nolan created was so mind-blowing, and I couldn’t wait to see how he was going to pull it off. But at the core of it, it’s character-driven, and there are so many subtleties. That’s what Rob does, and what Elizabeth [Debicki] and Kenneth Branagh do. It’s how they performed; it’s so enjoyable. It’s the reason you’re going to be able to follow more than you think.

When you’re reading the script, I’m pretty sure you had questions. Did you bug Christopher Nolan every time?

John David Washington: All the time. I mean, it took me four hours to read the script when I first got it. It is the first movie where I read the script front to back almost every day of the week, for at least a month while shooting. I’ve never done that. Usually, I’ll break it up with certain parts to try to get information here and there. But like this, I just read from front to back every day, basically just to wrap my mind around what the heck was going on.

You mentioned in previous interviews that you didn’t get hit up by Warner Brothers or Marvel for superhero stuff. But if you did, is there a certain character that you would want to play?

John David Washington: I mean, there’s so many. I think it depends on who’s asking, what director wants to do it with me, and we’ll see. I want to stay open. I don’t want to box myself in. Maybe there are characters that haven’t been mentioned yet. Or maybe they have never been developed or introduced in any of the films yet. I’d like to see what they come up with if I ever get asked.

I think Marvel’s going do a new Fantastic Four movie. So let’s pretend I’m Marvel President Kevin Feige. And finally, I come up to you like, “Do you want to be part of the Fantastic Four? Maybe Reed Richards?”

Wow. I’d say, “Well, thank you for having me. Thank you for taking this meeting. Where do I sign after this?”

Is there any more type of genres you’d like to do? Or would you like to continue doing action or maybe more drama?

I would like to do a film where I’m speaking another language in the entire film. I’d like to do a proper foreign film if I can, but there are all kinds. I want to do it. I’m going to do it all. I love all this. I love so many different genres. I just love storytelling. If I connect to the script, connect to the filmmaker, I’m down. I’m game.

The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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John Nguyen
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