Brow Beat

After a Long Delay, The Current War Electric Slides to a Cinema Near You

Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison amid a field of light bulbs.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison in the long delayed historical drama, The Current War. 101 Studios

The Current War will finally see the light of day. The film, directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and executive produced by Martin Scorsese, is a historical drama depicting the “War of Currents,” the 1880’s rivalry between inventors Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch), Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult), and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) as they race against one another to bring electricity to the public.

This is Gomez-Rejon’s second attempt to release the film, which orignally premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. Despite receiving a less than electrifying response from audiences, the film was slated to release later that year. That is, until its distributor, The Weinstein Company, was crushed under the weight of 87 sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. The film was shelved and acquired by Lantern Entertainment with other Weinstein assets.

According to an incredible story reported by Deadline, it was Martin Scorsese that helped bring the movie back to life. Thanks to a clause in his executive producer contract, Scorsese was able to block Lantern from releasing the film, instead brokering a deal through Endeavor Content to sell it to 101 Studios. “Marty called it a miracle,” Gomez-Rejon told Deadline. The delay also gave the director time to address some of the problems that hung over it on its initial release. The director told Deadline that the original cut of the film was rushed by the Weinstein Company and that the two-year delay has allowed him to restore the “heart” to the film. We’ll see if the new cut of the film sparks with audiences when it releases on October 4th.