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Benedict Cumberbatch's Thomas Edison film The Current War finally gets new release date

Entertainment Weekly logo Entertainment Weekly 21/05/2019 Joey Nolfi

a man sitting at a table © Dean Rogers Another project displaced by the Harvey Weinstein scandal has finally landed a new release date.

After juggling multiple release dates since The Weinstein Company initially delayed the film following sexual misconduct allegations against its co-founder, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Thomas Edison biopic The Current War has landed a new release partner and premiere date. Fledgling distributor 101 Studios announced Tuesday it will release the Alfonso Gomez-Rejon-directed historical drama — which follows the real-life three-pronged race between Edison, George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), and Nikolai Tesla (Nicholas Hoult) to bring electricity to Manhattan in the late 1800s — to a limited number of theaters on Oct. 4, with expansion to follow on Oct. 11.

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The announcement comes nearly two years after The Weinstein Company pushed the film back from its initial Nov. 24, 2017 release date to an undisclosed window in 2018, shortly after the seemingly awards-primed project held its world-premiere screening at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. That rollout never came to fruition, however, as the distributor filed for bankruptcy in March 2018, leading to several of its projects being redistributed to other studios.

Recently, the Rooney Mara/Joaquin Phoenix religious drama Mary Magdalene — which also shifted release dates and distribution studios in the wake of the Weinstein case — similarly received a revived theatrical run earlier this year via its new home at IFC Films.

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Originally announced in 2012 (with reports that Ben Stiller was, at one point, attached to direct), The Current War was initially set to star Cumberbatch opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in the role of Westinghouse, though the latter was ultimately replaced by Shannon. The film’s narrative charts Edison’s path through the cutthroat competition to literally electrify the world that led to one of the most infamous corporate clashes in history, as the famed inventor faced stiff competition from Westinghouse and his partner, Tesla, formulate a rival idea to bring the luminous technology to America.

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The film also stars Katherine Waterston and Tom Holland, with a score by Oscar-nominated Lion composers Volker Bertelmann and Dustin O’Halloran.

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