Ethan Hawke is electric in the trailer for Michael Almereyda’s Tesla biopic

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

You learned about Nikola Tesla in middle school, but now you'll get to see Ethan Hawke portray one of history's most iconic inventors in a stylish biopic from director Michael Almereyda called TESLA. IFC Films dropped a trailer for the drama-filled and musically-charged biopic on Friday, for a film presentation that highlights what went down between some of Tesla's greatest discoveries.

For those of you who've already forgotten about Tesla's many achievements, he's the smartypants that discovered how to manipulate different kinds of electric current. He's also responsible for the famous Tesla coil, an electrical resonant transformer circuit that produces high-voltage, low-current, high-frequency alternating-current electricity. You're likely to have seen one of these intense devices displayed in a history museum or featured at an over-priced music festival or rave.

Tesla, IFC Films, Ethan Hawke

"If you Google Nikola Tesla you get 34 million results," Eve Hewson's character, Anne Morgan, says in the trailer as she opens a laptop. "It's basically just four pictures. Beyond that, things get murky."

Starring alongside Hawke in TESLA is Kyle MacLachlan as Tesla's nemesis of sorts, Thomas Edison. When both inventors were alive, Edison constantly questioned Tesla's tireless toil while working on the alternating-current motor. Other stars set to appear in the film include Hannah Gross as Mina Edison and Josh Hamilton as Robert Underwood Johnson.

As the trailer plays on, things get a might funky. I'm talking about an energetic synth score, technological discoveries aplenty, and all manners of stiff-collared drama between scientists as well as their constituents. While I'd found the top of the footage to be a bit of a snooze, the trailer quickly picks up steam while presumably presenting a different kind of biopic. In addition to directing, Almereyda also wrote the spirited science-oriented spectacle.

You can catch TESLA when it arrives in theaters and On Demand on August 21.

Source: IFC Films

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.