The Weinstein Company has pulled Benedict Cumberbatch historical drama “The Current War” from its planned Black Friday Nov. 24 release date, shelving the film for an undecided 2018 release since the Harvey Weinstein scandal has soured the market for Weinstein Co. films.
The Alfonso Gomez-Rejon film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to mixed reviews, which cited its pacing and length.
The writer of “The Current War,” Michael Mitnik, also dropped out of a panel that was scheduled for Thursday night at the New York Film Festival. Sources said Mitnick decided that it wouldn’t be appropriate to promote “The Current War” due to the scandal surrounding TWC founder Harvey Weinstein.
Though the film could still be a candidate for the Oscars, its removal from the marketplace during awards season doesn’t bode well for the embattled production company, which lost yet another board member, Richard Koenigsberg, on Thursday. For a prestige picture like “The Current War” to turn a profit, it will need to pick up Oscar nominations that could help build word-of-mouth.
Harvey Weinstein is at the center of a still-unfolding scandal in which eight women were stated in a New York Times report as having received settlements from Weinstein after leveling sexual harassment allegations at the producer. On Tuesday, a second report from the New Yorker worsened the crisis, adding three claims of rape to the allegations. Since the NYT’s expose, close to three dozen women, including Gwenyth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, have come forward with instances of inappropriate behavior from Weinstein, who was fired from TWC.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is set to hold an emergency meeting Saturday to discuss the fate of Weinstein, with the possibility of his expulsion or suspension from the group — an action already taken by the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA).
Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.