IFC Films has released the trailer for Tesla. Directed by Michael Almereyda (Marjorie Prime), the deconstructed biopic stars Ethan Hawke as famous inventor Nikola Tesla in a story that knows it’s playing fast and loose with the details of Tesla’s life. The plot follows the uneasy interactions Tesla has with Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan) and George Westinghouse (Jim Gaffigan).
I’m not really sure what to make of the film judging by the trailer. On the one hand, I’m fascinated by this period in history and Tesla is a captivating individual. On the other hand, it’s possible that Almereyda’s approach could easily go off the rails. And yet I’m all for biopics that don’t take the standard cradle-to-the-grave approach, and Tesla looks anything but standard. I’m interested, and I’ll be curious to see how it compares to last year’s The Current War, which covers the same subject matter from a different angle.
Check out the Tesla trailer below, and click here for our interview with the director and cast members from Sundance 2020 where the film premiered. The film opens in theaters and hits VOD on August 21st. Tesla also stars Eve Hewson and Donnie Keshawarz.
Here’s the official synopsis for Tesla:
Brilliant, visionary Nikola Tesla (Ethan Hawke) fights an uphill battle to bring his revolutionary electrical system to fruition, then faces thornier challenges with his new system for worldwide wireless energy. The film tracks Tesla’s uneasy interactions with his fellow inventor Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan) and his patron George Westinghouse (Jim Gaffigan). Another thread traces Tesla’s sidewinding courtship of financial titan J.P. Morgan (Donnie Keshawarz), whose daughter Anne (Eve Hewson) takes a more than casual interest in the inventor. Anne analyzes and presents the story as it unfolds, offering a distinctly modern voice to this scientific period drama which, like its subject, defies convention.