‘The Current War’: First Trailer Pits Edison Against Westinghouse in an Electric Grudge Match

Historically, “The War of the Currents” refers to the late 19th century introduction of electricity through competing transmission systems, setting the Westinghouse Electric Company’s preference for alternating-current (AC) against the Edison Electric Light Company’s direct-current (DC) approach. The Current War, however, is The Weinstein Company’s dramatic interpretation of these events, as revealed in the film’s first trailer.

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Thomas Edison, with a significantly better American accent than his Doctor Strange attempt, while Michael Shannon growls through a lustrous mustache as George Westinghouse. The party really gets started once Nicholas Hoult‘s take on Nikola Tesla shows up, but the trailer wisely keeps him mostly in the shadows until the science/cultural icon can take center stage.

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon also directs Katherine Waterston, Tom Holland, Tuppence Middleton, and Matthew Macfadyen.The Current War will screen at TIFF 2017 before opening in U.S. theaters on January 19, 2018.

Check out the first trailer for The Current War below:

Here’s the synopsis for The Current War:

The Current War is a dramatic story of the cutthroat race between electricity titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to determine whose electrical system would power the modern world.

Gomez-Rejon’s follow-up to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl certainly feels, dare I say it, electric. You can 100% expect an over-dramatization of historical events but there’s a lot of rich storytelling to mine here. It’s a rare commercial film that tackles something as, on the surface, mundane as electricity, but that’s a modern convenience that citizens of developed countries take for granted all too often. It’s there at the flick of a switch; it’s allowing me to write this article and you to read it. But it wasn’t always this way. In fact it’s only been about 125 years since America’s gas-powered utilities began to embrace the path of progress, a path fraught with misinformation, unfounded fear, and cutthroat competition. The Current War seeks to play on that drama. Sign me up!

Image via The Weinstein Company

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