The Current War: Release Date, Trailer for Benedict Cumberbatch & Michael Shannon Film

Historical drama The Current War pits Benedict Cumberbatch's Thomas Edison against Michael Shannon's George Westinghouse.

The Current War certainly sounded like a promising picture, headlined by Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon, who, respectively, portray electricity pioneers Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. However, besides a poorly-received premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, said promising status was belied by bad luck, notably the bankruptcy (and radioactive status) of its original producing and distributing studio, The Weinstein Company, due to the alleged actions of its eponymous founder. Consequently, the film – once scheduled for a January 2018 release – was shelved and practically forgotten.

Fast-forward to now, and it appears that the filament of the proverbial lightbulb is once again glowing for The Current War, thanks to a new distribution deal with 101 Studios. Indeed, the film – now safely distanced from all things Weinstein – will finally get to hit the big screen, having secured a new release date. Moreover, it appears that we’re getting a different movie from the one that screened at TIFF, since director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon recut the film for this new release, which (per Variety,) trims 10 minutes from the original, and adds five new scenes.

The Current War Release Date

The Current War is now scheduled for a wide release on October 11, kicked off by limited premiere engagements on October 4.

101’s unshelving of the film arrived with the release of a new photo (see the title image).

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The Current War Trailer

The trailer for The Current War (in its current re-cut iteration,) has arrived!

Seen below is the September 2017-released trailer for The Current War, which should now be viewed under the context that we’re getting a different cut of the film than what’s reflected in the old clip.

As you can see, the film tells the story of a rivalry that literally lit the world. The trailer’s opening scene, showing a man blowing out his soon-to-be antiquated lantern, is as clearly symbolic as scenes get. The film will arrive as a historical drama, telling the real-life 1880s era rivalry between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. Dubbed the “War of the Currents,” the vendetta pit inventor extraordinaire Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his staunch advocacy for DC (direct current) against Pittsburgh-based, business-model-shifting, gas mogul George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) and his championing of AC (alternating current) electrical distribution.

However, when a key third player in this economic conflagration in the Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult) arrives in the States, his talents and unprecedented mastery of electricity makes the acquisition of his services into a highly-sought game changer.

While anyone who’s plugged an AC adapter into a wall socket to power or charge a device will know how that war ultimately went, the Victorian era drama looks to give immediacy to the escalating enmity between Edison and Westinghouse.

The Current War Cast

Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange, Sherlock) plays Thomas Edision.

Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals, Man of Steel) plays George Westinghouse.

Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Apocalypse, Mad Max: Fury Road) plays Nikola Tesla.

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Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Alien: Covenant) plays Marguerite Westinghouse.

Tuppence Middleton (Sense8, The Imitation Game) plays Mary Edison.

Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Lost City of Z) plays Samuel Insull.

Matthew Macfadyen (Ripper Street, MI-5) plays J.P. Morgan.

The Current War Images

Here are some of the first stills from The Current War.

The Current War Crew

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon serves as director for The Current War, having experienced acclaim with his 2015 bittersweet comedy Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, along with television work with Ryan Murphy on American Horror Story and Glee. The up and coming helmer worked off a script by Michael Mitnick, who penned the screenplay for the 2014 YA film The Giver, also serving as executive story editor on HBO’s cancelled series Vinyl.

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Joseph Baxter is a contributor for Den of Geek and Syfy Wire. You can find his work here. Follow him on Twitter @josbaxter.