Here at Cinelinx we like to talk about all aspects of filmmaking and movie news. To that end, we have Indie Beat where we highlight some of the latest news, trailers, and PR releases from the indie filmmaker scene. So if you’re an independent filmmaker and want some coverage on our site, be sure to drop us a line at [email protected].
Director Michael Anton is currently in advanced pre-production with his biopic TESLA about the iconic Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla.
The film will follow the life of Tesla following his arrival in America in 1884, as he battled with Thomas Edison, befriended Mark Twain and invented products that would change the world forever. Tesla is probably best known for his contributions to the design of the AC electrical supply system.
Filming is scheduled for later this year and will take place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Serbia.
London based Serbian actor Branko Tomovic has been picked to play Nikola Tesla, he was named One to Watch by MovieScope Magazine and could most recently be seen starring opposite Debbie Harry in Believe the Magic and in ghost thriller Entity, and has previously taken roles in The Bourne Ultimatum, The Wolf Man and the European Film Award-nominated Silent River.
“We knew if we were to bring Nikola Tesla to life on the screen appropriately we had to find a great actor who could handle the challenge of the role as well as understand the culture of the man. It came down to two very talented actors who were very passionate about the script and the history behind the man, but in the end, Branko’s performance just blew us away. He made an impossible decision a simple one. He is the perfect Nikola Tesla”, said Michael Anton, the writer and director of the movie.
Leading US character actor Richard Riehle will play George Westinghouse. As a key rival to Edison, George Westinghouse should be a meaty role for Richard Riehle, who is well known for his colourful roles in more than 50 television series and almost twice as many films.
Some of Riehle’s films include the Oscar nominated Glory, Casino, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café, The Fugitive and Ghosts of Mississippi, plus Of Mice and Men, Free Willy, Executive Decision, Black Rain, Mighty Joe Young and Office Space. Most recently, he appeared the phenomenally successful Bridesmaids, the highest grossing female comedy of all time.
Some of Serbia’s most acclaimed actors, such as Mirjana Karanovic (Esma’s Secret), Hristina Popovic (Circles, The Parade) and Marija Karan (The Rite) have joined the cast as well. Producers will announce further key cast for the roles of Edison, Mark Twain and JP Morgan as soon as their attachments has been confirmed.
For such an inspirational man whose life included money, intrigue and exploitation, Tesla’s story would seem to be ready made for the big screen. However, the life and impressive legacy of Nikola Tesla has been relegated to the sidelines, remaining relatively unknown outside of his homeland. “I am still surprised that so many people actually don’t know who he is, or they maybe have heard the name but are not quite sure what it stands for,’ said Branko. “There seems to be a lot of confusion about what his inventions actually were. I quite can’t understand it. That’s why it is so important to tell his story.” Now American screenwriter and director Michael Anton has grasped the nettle and intends to right some of these wrongs with his film The Mad Scientist, to be produced by Silvermask Productions and North Shore Pictures. Rather than play to the intrigue and conspiracy that cloaks Tesla’s story, Michael is determined to represent the man behind the science, as much as to showcase his works.