After languishing for nearly two years, 101 Studios has picked up domestic rights to the Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon-led “The Current War” with plans to release it wide in August.
The story follows the cutthroat competition between Thomas Edison (Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Shannon) over whose electrical system would power the new century. Backed by J.P. Morgan, Edison dazzles the world by lighting Manhattan.
But Westinghouse, aided by Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult), has seen fatal flaws in Edison’s direct current design and bet everything on risky and dangerous alternating current.
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”) helmed the film which was tipped to be The Weinstein Company’s major awards contender in 2017.
Then a rushed early cut was screened in September at the Toronto International Film Festival to mixed reviews, and of course the Harvey Weinstein scandal popped up shortly after and preceded the company going bankrupt and the project being orphaned.
The film has since been heavily recut by Gomez-Rejon who, thanks to a sheer stroke of luck due to producer Martin Scorsese not signing off on a contract, was able to get back his film and do the original version he always wanted to do without Weinstein interference.
Producers Timur Bekmambetov and Basil Iwanyk also heavily helped in the creation of the new version which reportedly runs ten minutes shorter than the Toronto 2017 version all whilst still incorporating five new scenes which the cast reassembled to shoot as part of one day of additional filming in an English farm house.
We’ll see the true version for ourselves when the film hits in August.