Just in time for the Cobra Kai hype, Jesse Eisenberg is following up his SXSW outing in writer/director Riley Stearns’ latest, The Art Of Self-Defense with a progressive theatircal rollout this July. The offiical trailer is now up and running… that is, unlike Eisenberg’s character, a bookeeper who is apparently done with running from thugs. Instead, now he’s throat punching people in mid-dialogue and taking on his low key maniacal karate teacher, played by actor Alessandro Nivola.
After he’s attacked on the street at night by a roving motorcycle gang, timid bookkeeper Casey (Jesse Eisenberg) joins a neighborhood karate studio to learn how to protect himself. Under the watchful eye of a charismatic instructor, Sensei (Alessandro Nivola), and hardcore brown belt Anna (Imogen Poots), Casey gains a newfound sense of confidence for the first time in his life. But when he attends Sensei’s mysterious night classes, he discovers a sinister world of fraternity, brutality and hyper-masculinity, presenting a journey that places him squarely in the sights of his enigmatic new mentor. Audacious and offbeat, The Art of Self-Defense is an original dark comedy that takes toxic masculinity to absurd extremes.
Eisenberg is currently making the review review rounds from Cannes with his latest sci-fi performance, Vivarium, following its world premiere. That film co-stars actress Imogen Poots who also joins the actor in this new darkly comedic beat ’em up dramedy hitting select theaters on July 12, before screening nationally on July 19.
The Art Of Self-Defense is produced by Cody Ryder, Andrew Kortschak, Stephanie Whonsetler and Walter Kortschak, with Andrew Karpen, Munika Lay, Kent Sanderson, David Zellner and Nathan Zellner exec producing.