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Nicholas Hoult to Play Nikola Tesla in ‘The Current War’

Nicholas Hoult is in negotiations to play Nikolai Tesla in the Weinstein Co.’s “The Current War.”

Benedict Cumberbatch is already on board to play Thomas Edison and Michael Shannon will portray George Westinghouse. “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon will  helm the film.

The movie takes place in the late 1880s and revolves around power titans Edison and Westinghouse’s battle over the supply of electricity. Edison championed the use of a direct current for electric power distribution over an alternating current, which was backed by several European companies and Westinghouse Electric.

The movie is one of two centered on this rivalry. Black Bear Pictures is developing “The Last Days of Night” starring Eddie Redmayne as the lawyer caught in the middle of the patent battle that ensued following Edison’s discovery of the electrical current.

TWC will finance and distribute the film.

Timur Bekmambetov, who was originally eyed to direct the movie, will produce alongside Film Rites’ Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch.

Hoult recently wrapped “Sand Castle” and also finished production on the J.D. Salinger biopic “Rebel in the Rye.” He is repped by UTA.

The news was first reported by The Wrap.

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