Benedict Cumberbatch Heads to 19th Century America in The Current War


The next Oscar bait from the Weinstein Company will star Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison in 19th century America.

Benedict Cumberbatch Plays Yet Another Genius In Yet Another  Period Piece. Cumberbatch is a man who loves a period costume. He’s done WWI (Parade’s End), WW2 (Atonement, The Imitation Game), Victorian England (Sherlock), the Antebellum era (12 Years a Slave), the Middle Ages (The Hollow Crown), and, technically, the future (Star Trek Into Darkness).

The latest era he can add to his resume is 19th century America thanks to the latest Oscar bait, I mean movie, from the Weinstein Company, The Current War. The period drama sees Thomas Edison (Cumberbatch) in a battle of wits against George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) as the two race to create a new electricity system for the American people.

Check out the period costume, and appropriate hairstyle!!

Image via The Weinstein Co.

Rounding out the cast is new Spider-Man Tom Holland, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them star Katherine Waterston, Pride and Prejudice’s Matthew McFadyen and, most interestingly, X-Men’s Nicholas Hoult as Nikola Tesla. Could this performance come close to David Bowie’s turn as Tesla in The Prestige?

Science buffs, and history buffs, already know the story behind Edison and Westinghouse’s rivalry. Edison was a big proponent of direct current energy (DC) and fought loudly and publicly against Westinghouse’s high voltage alternative current energy (AC) system. Edison even ran a propaganda campaign against AC, which ultimately failed and left Edison ousted from his own company. Playing an angry genius is right in Cumberbatch’s wheelhouse (see also: Sherlock, The Imitation Game, Doctor Strange) just as much so as the period garb, and Michael Shannon is an exciting foe for anyone to face off against. This might be a typical prestige picture period piece, but there’s a real potential for something more interesting there, too.

Next: 11 Shocking Sherlock Moments

The Current War is directed by Alfonso Gomez Rejon (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) and is set to be released in 2017, although the exact date is still to be announced. Probably next fall to winter, just in time for those Oscar campaigns.