‘The Current War’ Trailer: Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon Battle for Electric Supremacy
The only thing missing from the first trailer for The Current War is an “I’ve Got the Power” music cue. Instead, the trailer is scored with something vaguely reminiscent of The Social Network — hardly a coincidence as the film, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison and Michael Shannon as George Westinghouse, is basically trying to do for the electric business what The Social Network did for Facebook.
The Weinsteins’ next awards season bet is The Current War, which boasts a stellar ensemble and promises a dramatic 19th century feud between Cumberbatch and Shannon — sounds like a pretty good reason to watch. Joining them are Nicholas Hoult (as Nikola Tesla), Katherine Waterston and Tom Holland.
While the trailer certainly checks off all the right boxes for an awards season historical drama, there’s something undeniably silly about the whole thing. Regardless, watching Shannon go head to head with Cumberbatch over the future of technology should be delightful. That it‘s directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) is a nice bonus.
Here’s the official synopsis from TIFF, where The Current War will premiere this week:
In 2017, it’s nearly impossible to imagine a world without electric light. Yet the technology that illuminates our homes and projects images onto our screens dates back only the length of two lifetimes. The Current War, featuring brilliant performances from Oscar nominees Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon, brings to life the innovations and rivalries that would switch on the world.
Thomas Edison (Cumberbatch) knew he was a genius — and he made sure everyone else knew it, too. In 1879, he and his team conducted the first successful light bulb tests, declaring an end to night as people knew it. But the broad distribution of electricity posed a daunting challenge. Edison was convinced that direct current was the superior system, but entrepreneur George Westinghouse (Shannon, also appearing at this year’s Festival in The Shape of Water), Edison’s less flamboyant competitor, had a different idea.
The Current War hits theaters on November 24.