Several years ago, the internet had decided that Nicola Tesla was the new poster child for the scientist-as-misunderstood-rock-star archetype, and for good reason. Not only was his a story of a great genius who had been wrongly discredited by an evil, mustache twirling capitalist, in this case Thomas Edison, but he also resembles the modern day hipster. It’s a shame then that Tesla only appears at the very end of this trailer, as played by Nicolaus Hoult.
The Current War is the story of Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), who go toe-to-toe in attempting to bring electricity to the masses before the other one and the ensuing battle that would arise. The film's title stems from the varying methods both men used in an attempt to make electricity accessible, with Edison wanting to use a direct current and Westinghouse believing an alternating current would be best, hence The Current Wars.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the trailer is how exciting and visually arresting it seems, since most biopics and true life history tales usually come across as very stagy and stuffy, The Current War seems refreshingly quick paced and energetic. This is not dissimilar to how David Fincher directed The Social Network in 2010. The only misstep, so far anyway, seems to be the last-minute cameo from Tesla, which seems a little distracting and tacked on. Perhaps his character will be more important in the finished film, but I have a suspicion that he’s there because he’s one of the few historical scientists that people know.
The film is scheduled to be released on November 24th from The Weinstein Company. It is directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and also stars Tom Holland and Katherine Waterston.