The historical rivalry between two of the 19th century's greatest minds, electricity magnates Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, will be the subject for two upcoming film projects. Whereas Black Bear Pictures The Last Days Of Night will explore these events from the perspective of a lawyer dealing with the inventors' battle over patents, The Weinstein Company's project The Current War looks set to focus on these two extreme central personalities. However, these events cannot be portrayed without featuring the ingenious inventor of the period: Edison's protege turned competitor, the eccentric Nikola Tesla.
Having already secured Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon for the roles of Edison and Westinghouse, The Current War's producers apparently have someone specific in mind to take on the enigmatic Tesla. British actor Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Days Of Future Past and Apocalypse) is reportedly in talks to discuss joining the project.
Per The Wrap, The Current War is being developed from a script written by Michael Mitnick - one that made the 2011 Black List of Hollywood's best unproduced screenplays. Me and Early and the Dying Girl's Alfonzo Gomez-Rejon is on board to direct. The movie will be set in the 1880s as Edison and Westinghouse battle for dominance over the electricity supply market. The Serbian inventor Tesla began working for Edison in 1884, swiftly moving up the company until he was tasked with redesigning inefficient products by Edison himself. Tesla became disenchanted with his patron after he felt deceived over a large non-recieved payment for his work. In 1888 he was also hired as a consultant for Westinghouse.
Nicholas Hoult started his career as a child actor, notably starring along side Hugh Grant in 2002's About A Boy. As a teen, British TV roles secured the young actor enough recognition to be cast in Tom Ford's A Single Man. Hoult has gone on to star in a range of big budget projects, including the recent X-Men movies and the critically-acclaimed Mad Max: Fury Road, The Wrap's insides claim that The Weinstein Company's executives have been impressed with Hoult since his work in A Single Man and have been eager to cast him in more projects since then, culminating with him being recruited for The Current War.
Nikola Tesla is a substantial character for any actor to take on, but the Weinstein's faith in Hoult is not unsubstantiated as the actor has proven a command over a scope of varying characters of late. This would not be Hoult's first time playing a historical character, having recently been cast as author JD Salinger for the biopic Rebel In The Rye.
The Current War has attracted some undeniable talent so far in the forms of its director and actors, Hoult included. The film's historical content and powerful characters may well make it an awards season contender; indeed, the movie feels like Oscar bait by design. Time will tell how The Current War fares in that regard, of course.
We'll bring you more details on The Current War as they become available.
Source: The Wrap