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Benedict Cumberbatch Electrifies as Thomas Edison in The Current War Trailer

By Brian Gallagher — September 7th, 2017

The Weinstein Company has debuted the first trailer for The Current War, which could very well turn out to be an awards season favorite this year. Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) risk everything on their competing electrical currents in a pitched battle to decide who will light America and usher in the new century. With the brilliant and driven Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult) working for both men, only one will come out on top.

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison and Michael Shannon as George Westinghouse, The Current War is the epic story of the cutthroat competition between the greatest inventors of the industrial age 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, has seen fatal flaws in Edison's direct current design. Igniting a war of currents, Westinghouse and Tesla bet everything on risky and dangerous alternating current. The trailer debuted on The Weinstein Company YouTube earlier today.

The Weinstein Company has handed out a November 24 release date, the day after Thanksgiving, arriving in limited release. It remains unclear if there are plans for a nationwide expansion at this time, but it will arrive just a few days after several other movies debuting in wide release, on November 22, such as Disney's Coco, Annapurna Pictures' Death Wish remake, STX Entertainment's Molly's Game and Broad Green Pictures' Villa Capri. Still, even if it doesn't fare well at the box office, this drama based on a true story has all the elements that Oscar voters are looking for, so it wouldn't be surprising to see this get some award season buzz in just a few months.

Directed by Alfonso Gomez‐Rejon (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) and written by playwright Michael Mitnick (Sex Lives of our Parents), The Current War also stars Katherine Waterston as Marguerite Erskine, Tom Holland as Samuel Insull, Tuppence Middleton as Mary Stilwell Edison, Matthew Macfadyen as J.P. Morgan, Conor MacNeill as William Kemmler and Damien Molony as Bourke Cockran. The project has been in development for quite some time, first getting noticed after Michael Mitnick's script landed on The Black List in 2011, the same year that The Imitation Game was the top script on the list, which ended up being turned into the movie of the same name, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Shortly after it arrived on the Black List, director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) picked up the script, and at one point in 2014, Ben Stiller entered discussions to direct the film, after Timur Bekmambetov backed away from the project. Now, after more than five years in development, this unique story is finally ready to hit the big screen. Whether or not it will be a critical or commercial hit remains to be seen, but we may get an indication after fans respond to this trailer. Take a look at the first footage from The Current War below.

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