We at Collider have an exclusive clip from The Current War: Director’s Cut to share with our readers today. In it, we find Spider-Man: Far from Home’s Tom Holland (as Samuel Insull), making a case before a panel for Thomas Edison’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) direct current over George Westinghouse’s (Michael Shannon) apparently fatal alternating current.
This movie itself has been on quite the odyssey.
In 2011, Michael Mitnick’s script, The Current War, landed on the Black List (best unproduced screenplays of the year). It took time, but eventually, director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon got a hold of the project, which initially had cast Jake Gyllenhaal in the Westinghouse role. When Gyllenhaal unattached himself, Michael Shannon stepped in, playing opposite Cumberbatch in a story of late 19th century rivalry and obsession.
Shooting got underway in December 2016 and the film world premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. It was scheduled for release a few months after Toronto by The Weinstein Company. And then, problems arose. After the Harvey Weinstein scandal that followed, the movie found itself without a home. With TWC bankrupt, Lantern Entertainment swooped in and purchased its assets, including The Current War. In April of this year, 101 Studios got a hold of the distribution rights, and the film finally saw the light of day this past July, playing theatrically in the UK. Next up, an October 25th U.S. release.
But it won’t be the version Toronto’s audiences saw back in 2017.
Gomez-Rejon has re-cut the film to his own liking, adding five additional scenes and trimming ten minutes from its total runtime. The result is, in his eyes, a stronger piece, reflecting Mitnick’s much lauded script.
For Gomez-Rejon, The Current War: Director’s Cut is an ambitious follow-up to his excellent and under appreciated 2015 film, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. One of that movie’s finer points is its clever and always interesting cinematography, thanks to DP Chung-hoon Chung, who also shot this film. So, if nothing else, expect a visually deft experience.
The movie also stars Tolkien’s Nicholas Hoult as genius inventor Nikola Tesla, who would become an Edison nemesis himself.
You can check out the clip above, and a synopsis of the film below. And, later this week, look for our extended interview with Gomez-Rejon.
Three brilliant visionaries set off in a charged battle for the future in The Current War, the epic story of the cutthroat competition that literally lit up the modern world. Benedict Cumberbatch is Thomas Edison, the celebrity inventor on the verge of bringing electricity to Manhattan with his radical new DC technology. On the eve of triumph, his plans are upended by charismatic businessman George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), who believes he and his partner, the upstart genius Nikolai Tesla (Nicholas Hoult), have a superior idea for how to rapidly electrify America: with AC current. As Edison and Westinghouse grapple for who will power the nation, they spark one of the first and greatest corporate feuds in American history, establishing for future Titans of Industry the need to break all the rules. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) with Producer Timur Bekmambetov, Basil Iwanyk and Executive Producer Martin Scorsese, The Current War also stars Katherine Waterston, Tom Holland, Matthew Macfadyen and Tuppence Middleton.