The historical drama The Current War will star Benedict Cumberbatch (Black Mass) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Southpaw) as electric power titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, respectively. Set in the late 1880s, the film centers on the interesting but almost forgotten electricity supply battle between them, during which the men competed to devise a sustainable system and market it to Americans.
Although Edison became more famous than Westinghouse, the two technological pioneers had much in common. Both were inventors and entrepreneurs, but they were major rivals who held opposing views on the future of electricity distribution. As Entertainment Weekly points out: “Edison thought power should be delivered via direct current, while Westinghouse favored alternating current.”
Directing the film is Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, who is best known for the recent release Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. He has also directed many episodes of TV’s American Horror Story.
The script, written by playwright-screenwriter Michael Mitnick (The Giver), got a lot of attention when it made the 2011 Black List of hot unproduced projects.
Timur Bekmambetov (Unfriended) will produce alongside Film Rites’ Steve Zaillian (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Garrett Basch (The Cold Light of Day).
The Current War is expected to hit theaters next year.