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Benedict Cumberbatch’s ‘Current War’ Gets Awards-Season Release

David Glasser’s 101 Studios is positioning the long-shelved and revamped “The Current War,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon, for an awards-season release in October.

101 Studios announced Tuesday that the film would open in limited release on Oct. 4, then go wide on the following weekend. The film presents the story of the “war of the currents” between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse over which electrical system would power the modern world. Cumberbatch stars as Edison while Shannon portrays Westinghouse. Nicholas Hoult stars as Nikola Tesla.

The film, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival, was to be distributed later that year by the Weinstein Company but was shelved following the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations. 101 Studios bought the North American rights several months ago from Lantern Entertainment, which handled the TWC assets.

The cast includes Katherine Waterston, Tuppence Middleton, Tom Holland and Matthew Macfadyen. Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon has added five additional scenes and cut 10 minutes from the version that premiered in Toronto.

Reviews from the festival of the initial film were mixed, with Andrew Barker of Variety expressing disappointment: “It benefits from a smart, snappy script and a well-rounded cast, and gives its director the chance to employ virtually every camera trick known to man. What it can’t do, however, is generate even the slightest bit of interest in what happens to any of its characters.”

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