'Tesla' Trailer: Ethan Hawke Shoots Lightning From Earth to Sky as 19th Century Inventor

Tesla - Sundance - PREMIERES - Publicity - H 2020
Courtesy of Sundance

The film, directed by Michael Almereyda, also stars Kyle MacLachlan and Eve Hewson.

Ethan Hawke brings light to inventor Nikola Tesla's life in Tesla

While the film may cover some of Tesla's most noteworthy discoveries, including the different kinds of electric currents and his eponymous coil, the biopic chronicles everything that happens in between those significant breakthroughs as well.

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

Kyle MacLachlan enters the picture as competing innovator Thomas Edison, who questions Tesla's devotion to the alternating-current motor, calling the invention "a waste of time, impractical and deadly." 

Tensions rise as Tesla claims Edison owes him thousands of dollars and meets John Pierpont (J.P.) Morgan, played by Donnie Keshawarz. Additionally, the personal and the professional become entwined as Tesla pursues a relationship with Morgan's daughter Anne (Hewson).

"You work at night in a secret laboratory, you shoot lightning from Earth to the sky," says a woman over a montage of Tesla's electrifying inventions. 

As the trailer progresses, technology is even more present, from the synth music score to the cellphone Edison pulls out at a bar. Hewson's Anne even projects a slideshow about Tesla onto a screen. 

"The world we are living in is a dream that Tesla dreamed first," Hewson says. 

The film, directed by Michael Almereyda, comes to theaters and on demand on Aug. 21. 

Watch the trailer below.