Alfonso Gomez-Rejon was one of the biggest breakout directors of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival thanks to award winner “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” and although the film didn’t make much noise at the box office, he’s got a major followup project in the works.
Deadline reports that Michael Shannon is joining Benedict Cumberbatch in true-story drama “The Current War,” which is being financed and distributed by The Weinstein Company. Shannon is set to play George Westinghouse opposite Cumberbatch’s Thomas Edison in the story of their rivalry. Timur Bekmambetov is producing alongside Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch.
The script, written by Michael Mitnick, is set in the late 1880s and details the inventors’ battle over electric power distribution. As Edison champions the use of a direct current, Westinghouse pushes for an alternating current, igniting a war of electricity and innovation.
The project is one of two being developed right now involving the Edison/Westinghouse rivalry. “The Imitation Game” director Morten Tyldum is set to direct Eddie Redmayne in “The Last Days of Night.” The Oscar winner is playing lawyer Paul Cravath, who is assigned with defending Westinghouse after Edison wins the race for a patent and sues his competitor for one billion dollars.
The Weinstein Company is hoping to begin production on “The Current War” in late December and is in the final stages of rounding out the cast. No release date has been set, but with this kind of talent we expect TWC to be eying fall 2017.