The Weinstein Company has moved back the release of their period drama The Current War to 2018 amid continuing backlash against Harvey Weinstein in the wake of a bombshell New York Times article detailing years of sexual harassment allegations against the movie mogul. The Benedict Cumberbatch film was originally set to be released on November 24th, 2017 in hopes of garnering some awards-season buzz.
Starring Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison, The Current War tells the story of the battle between the famous inventor and his rival George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) over domination of the burgeoning field of electricity. The film co-stars Nicholas Hoult as inventor Nikola Tesla, who ultimately is recruited by Westinghouse to help defeat Edison. Tom Holland, Katherine Waterston, Tuppence Middleton and Matthew Macfadyen round out the cast of the period drama directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.
The Current War was set to be a major Oscar play for The Weinstein Company, but now Variety reports that the movie will be pushed back to an undecided date in 2018. TWC said in a recent statement that they intend to go ahead with the release of the horror film Polaroid on November 22nd as planned, and will also carry through releasing Paddington 2 on January 2nd, 2018. Also still on the schedule for TWC is the Robert De Niro film War With Grandpa on February 23rd.
Hollywood has been speaking out loudly and clearly against Weinstein since the New York Times article that laid out years of sexual harassment allegations leveled by various actresses against the film producer. Weinstein himself was fired from TWC, and has since been booted from the Motion Picture Academy as well. Weinstein has also been removed as a producer on Disney’s Artemis Fowl film. The Current War being pulled from the schedule leaves TWC with only the Jeremy Renner thriller Wind River as a potential Oscar player.
With more revelations coming out on a daily basis about Weinstein’s widespread misconduct, and the upheaval going on within the company itself, TWC clearly felt that now was not the time to release The Current War, a movie they must believe could be a legitimate player in awards season if given a proper chance. The Current War will now come out sometime next year, though when exactly it will hit theaters is yet to be determined. Given everything that has been said about Weinstein, and the firestorm of controversy that has been stirred up about Hollywood’s culture in general as a result of the stories about his conduct, news of one single movie being pushed back out of the Oscar race seems, at most, like a minor footnote.
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