Benedict Cumberbatch is a man of many hats. Mainstay of the British theatre scene, unlikely Hollywood heartthrob, prestige-picture leading man, mystical off-beat superhero, and of course, the noted lizard alien’s greatest performance of all has been the years-long charade of human actor “Benedict Cumberbatch.” The dependable shape-shifter, a term I am using here literally, will soon star in The Current War, a role that will appear to fit snugly into his “prestige-picture leading man” mold. And today, below, we get our first look at Cumberbatch’s newest role, that of inventor and pioneer.

The Weinstein Company
The Weinstein Company

The Wrap has the first official still from The Current War, showing Cumberbatch in character as Thomas Edison, looking quite serious in his fancy little bow-tie. The film tracks the longstanding rivalry between Edison and his colleague George Westinghouse (played in the film by Michael Shannon) to be the first to establish a workable use for electricity, in a sort of Amadeus-type setup, but with light bulbs instead of classical music. Katherine Waterston of Inherent Vice fame (and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them fame, less so), neo-Spidey Tom Holland, and Fury Road’s Nicholas Hoult will also appear in the film, with Hoult confirmed to portray Nikola Tesla. God willing, Waterston will not be forced to portray anyone’s long-suffering wife.

This will be the next film from Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, Sundance breakout director of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and if the stench of Oscar wasn’t reeking from this project already, consider the fact that it’s fronted by known awards hounds The Weinstein Company. To seal the deal, The Wrap‘s item claims that though no release date has been set, audiences can expect the film before the year is out, landing squarely in awards season. Remember this one in the months to come.

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