Alongside the first wave of reactions to Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s historical drama The Current War comes an eagerly-anticipated trailer. Our first introduction to the conflict between two of the electricity industry’s first titans, Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), the trailer suggests a beautifully-shot and atmospheric biopic, but one in other ways less assured.
To the best of our knowledge, the film will revolve around the war between the AC and DC current systems – hence the self-explanatory title. The two leads look promising (though it’s still strange to hear an American accent roll off the quintessentially English Cumberbatch’s tongue), but the tone of the trailer wavers between a low-key character study of their warring intellects, and a more melodramatic sort of thriller involving more personal attacks at one another. Regardless, it all looks tantalizing, possibly a strong awards contender, and even includes something of a preview of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange interacting way before Infinity War is released – since Tom Holland also stars as Edison’s secretary Samuel Insull. Other major cast members include Katherine Waterston, Tuppence Middleton, and Nicholas Hoult as Nikola Tesla.
UCL students who watched the film crew get down to work at the Main Quad will be pleased to learn the trailer does feature two establishing shots of this particular scene: an electricity demonstration, so it seems, by Edison. (It remains to be seen what precise location the Main Quad will stand in for.) The iconic UCL portico is visible in multiple shots.
The Current War is set for UK release in January 2018. Watch the trailer below.