At the risk of kicking off on such a cynical note, let’s just take a quick second to tick off the boxes that the trailer for The Current War hits in the game of awards-season Bingo.
– The Weinstein Company
– Benedict Cumberbatch working outside of his natural accent
– a real-life story about a famous man of accomplishment and his tragically unheralded contemporary
– name actors delivering Serious Performances
– ornate period decor and costuming
– a grandiose, sweeping score denoting the grand import of the film’s subject matter
– again, The Weinstein Company
All of that said, The Current War is also one of those historical dramas that could shed light (god, we’re so sorry) on a lesser-known story surrounding Thomas Edison’s rise to fame. As Edison, Benedict Cumberbatch will square off with George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), the inventor of the alternating current as a counterpoint to Edison’s direct current. The two found themselves racing to patent and profit from their mutual inventions, as a growing America began to imagine an entirely new future based on what the two managed to create. (Nicholas Hoult also co-stars as Nikola Tesla.)
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, who last helmed Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, will direct the drama, which is currently set to debut on November 24th, right in the thick of the prestige movie season. Its first teaser trailer arrives right as this year’s Toronto International Film Festival gets into full swing, where the film will see its world premiere.