Ethan Hawke Is Legendary Scientist Nikola Tesla

IFC Films has released a new trailer for Tesla. The biopic is set to chronicle the life of famed scientist Nikola Tesla, who is responsible for alternating-current, which paved the way for the modern age in many ways. Ethan Hawke (Sinister, Boyhood) is playing the iconic figure in the drama which, per the studio, “like it’s subject, defies convention.” As we can see from the trailer, that statement seems to be rather accurate.

The trailer kicks off by presenting Ethan Hawke as Nikola Tesla, “the greatest inventor of the age.” We then get a feel for the unique way the biopic is being presented. Which is, to say the least, not a straightforward approach. The footage touches on the murky history surrounding the important figure, as well as his relationship to Thomas Edison, which is complicated and contentious. It paints Tesla as a visionary, but a complex one and the nature of the biopic seems to reflect that.

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Michael Almereyda’s (Marjorie Prime, Experimenter) is in the director’s chair. Almereyda also penned the screenplay. The cast includes Eve Hewson (Robin Hood, The Knick), Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Lucy Walters (Here Alone, Power}), Jim Gaffigan (Super Troopers, 17 Again), Josh Hamilton (Dark Skies, Eighth Grade), Blake DeLong (Late Night, We Need to Talk About Kevin), Ebon Moss-Bachrach (The Lake House, Wedding Daze), Hannah Gross (Mindhunter, Joker), Donnie Keshawarz (Ad Astra, The Adjustment Bureau), Rebecca Dayan (Random Acts of Violence, From Paris With Love) and Lois Smith (Twister, True Blood). Uri Singer, Christa Campell, Lati Grobman, Isen Robbins and Michael Almereyda serve as producers.

Tesla centers on the brilliant, visionary Nikola Tesla (Ethan Hawke) who fights an uphill battle to make his revolutionary electrical system a reality. He then faces even more difficult challenges with his new system for worldwide wireless energy. The movie follows Tesla’s uneasy interactions with his fellow inventor Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan) and his patron George Westinghouse (Jim Gaffigan). Another plot thread traces his courtship of financial titan J.P. Morgan (Donnie Keshawarz), whose daughter Anne (Eve Hewson) takes a romantic interest in the inventor. Anne analyzes and presents the story as it unfolds, offering a distinctly modern voice to this scientific period drama.

Nikola Tesla passed away in 1943 and his work was relegated to obscurity for quite a few years. However, his popularity began to surge in the 90s. He has been portrayed several times on screen in the past. David Bowie portrayed him in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, with Nicholas Hoult more recently playing the part in The Current War. The movie debuted earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival and was met with rave reviews. It won the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize and currently sits at 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Tesla is set to arrive in theaters and On Demand on August 21 from IFC Films. Be sure to check out the new trailer for yourself.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb

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