'The Current War' Trailer: Benedict Cumberbatch And Michael Shannon Go Electric

Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon are ready to do the electric slide in The Current War, the delayed film about the battle between Thomas Edison and  George Westinghouse. The Current War debuted at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, only to be pulled from the release calendar following the many allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein. Now, the film is finally ready for release, with director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon having re-edited the flick to his own satisfaction. Watch The Current War trailer below.

The Current War Trailer

I was one of the few at TIFF 2017 to actually enjoy The Current War. Most of my fellow critics were nonplussed, but I thought the film was perfectly fine. Was it great? No. But it was stylish enough to rise above standard biopic trappings. But while I didn't dislike the film, The Current War's own director, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, did. Because the version that played at TIFF was, in Gomez-Rejon's opinion, not ready.

"I knew in my heart, and every fiber of my body was saying, it's not ready. I was drowning in notes, to the point I was addressing them more than editing the film," the director told Deadline. That didn't matter to producer Harvey Weinstein, who wanted to take the flick to TIFF anyway. After the lackluster premiere, though, Weinstein vowed to re-edit the film himself. Then everything came crashing down. Allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein came to the forefront, and effectively brought the movie mogul down. As a result, The Current War was pulled from release, and there was some debate about whether it would ever see the light of day.

But The Current War now has a second life, and Gomez-Rejon is much happier with the version that will arrive this year, since he was given the opportunity to recut it to his own liking. "Everything missing is there now, including the right pacing that escalates the tension between these two men," he said. "The heart of the film is restored." This trailer is very effective – exciting even. I'm curious to see how differently the film plays now.

In The Current War, "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."

The Current War opens in select theaters on October 4, 2019, and everywhere on October 11, 2019.