Ethan Hawke and Kyle MacLachlan star as inventors Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison in the flashy biopic.

Ethan Hawke is continuing his exploration of 19th century trailblazers.

In honor of Nikola Tesla's birthday, IFC Films has released the trailer for Tesla, the far from standard biopic about the brilliant inventor's mission to bring life to his revolutionary electric system. The role for Hawke comes as he prepares for the October launch of Showtime's Good Lord Bird, in which he stars as famed abolitionist John Brown.

Written and directed by Michael Almereyda, who previously worked with Hawke on 2000's Hamlet, the new film finds Tesla facing many challenges in his path to success, including from Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan). How do two legendary inventors solve their grievances? Well, according to this trailer, by Tesla rubbing an ice cream cone in Edison's face.

Also starring Jim Gaffigan and Eve Hewson, Tesla opens Aug. 21 in theaters and on VOD.

Watch the trailer above.

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