A long-developing project about the electricity battle between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse looks like it’s finally coming together—and with an extremely solid team, too. THR reports that Benedict Cumberbatch and Jake Gyllenhaal are in talks to play Edison and Westinghouse, respectively, in The Current War, a film that dramatizes the battle over the supply of energy in the late 1880s. Edison was a staunch defender of direct current (DC), while Westinghouse and Westinghouse Electric championed alternating current (AC).
But that’s not all! Me and Earl and the Dying Girl director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is in talks to direct the picture for The Weinstein Company, making this an incredibly formidable package that’s coming together. The project first made waves when Michael Mitnick’s script made the Black List in 2011—the year in which The Imitation Game, starring Cumberbatch, topped the Black List, coincidentally. Timur Bekmambetov was the first to flirt with the director’s chair (he remains onboard as a producer), then in 2013 Ben Stiller was looking to possibly take the helm. We hadn’t heard much of anything about The Current War since that time, but it appears as though the movie is finally heating up.
Westinghouse is apparently the protagonist in the script, so while Cumberbatch gets the flashier name, Gyllenhaal will be the lead character. The Nightcrawler actor is currently getting ready to shoot Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, while Cumberbatch is preparing to shoot the lead role in Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange, which begins production later this year. Gomez-Rejon, meanwhile, is gearing up to start production this fall on his next project, Collateral Beauty starring Will Smith The plan is for The Current War to be Gomez-Rejon’s next film after he completes Beauty.
As a big fan of science, Gyllenhaal & Cumberbatch, and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, this comes as swell news to me. How about you, folks? Are you electrified by this development?