IFC Films has nabbed U.S. rights to “Tesla,” the story of inventor Nikola Tesla and his efforts to build a revolutionary electrical system.
The purchase extends IFC’s long relationship with Ethan Hawke, who stars as Tesla and who has previously partnered with the studio on such films as “Boyhood” and “Blaze.” The film also reunites Hawke with filmmaker Michael Almereyda, with whom he previously worked on “Hamlet.” “Tesla” premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. IFC will release the film Aug. 7, 2020.
“It’s always a cause for celebration for IFC Films to work with Ethan, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with the legendary Michael Almereyda and the rest of this amazing cast to bring this unique and extraordinary film to US audiences this summer,” said Arianna Bocco, executive VP of acquisitions and productions at IFC Films, in a statement.
The film tracks Tesla’s contentious relationship with fellow inventor Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan), as well as the ways that his high-minded idealism clashes with American industrialism. The cast also includes Eve Hewson, Jim Gaffigan, Donnie Keshawarz, Rebecca Dayan, Josh Hamilton, and Lucy Walters.
Producing alongside Millennium Media is Uri Singer of Passage Pictures, Christa Campell and Lati Grobman of Campbell-Grobman Films, and Isen Robbins of Intrinsic Value Films.
The deal for the film was negotiated by IFC Films’ Bocco and Cinetic Media and Millennium Media on behalf of the filmmakers. Millennium Media is also handling foreign sales.
“This has been a long journey,” Singer said in a statement. “Happy to collaborate with IFC, who have worked with Ethan Hawke successfully in the past. This script was written 37 years ago and thanks to Millennium and everyone involved, we are proud to have audiences see it this summer.”
“We could not have found a better home for this film and are really excited to be teaming up once again with IFC to share this unconventional story of the legend that is Nikola Tesla, portrayed by the multi-talented Ethan Hawke who brings Almereyda’s vision to life alongside a stunning ensemble cast,” said Millennium’s Jeffrey Greenstein.
IFC also bought the Jude Law drama “The Nest” and the Emily Mortimer thriller “Relic” out of Sundance.