We’ve been fans of Ethan Hawke since he first appeared on screen in 1985 in the The Explorers with River Phoenix. Since then the actor has never been shy of stepping out on a limb when it comes to his acting choices whether it’s the mind (and gender-bending) Predestination, his unique take on the vampire genre with Daybreakers, Boyhood (a film which took 20 years to finish) or his often overlooked Before Sunrise trilogy with Julie Delpy. Now, the actor is back for one of the most interesting looks at the life of Nikolai Tesla that we’ve seen put on film.

Honestly, without having seen the full movie, we aren’t even sure we could speak much about it other than to say that it is about the famed inventor and it co-stars Kyle MacLachlan as Thomas Edison, Jim Gaffigan as George Westinghouse, Donnie Keshawarz as J.P. Morgan, and Eve Hewson as daughter Anne.

Tesla hits theaters and VOD August 21.

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.