EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Co. is pushing Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s The Current War off its Black Friday Nov. 24 release to a 2018 date still to be determined.
The period piece follows Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) as they race against each other to control the nation’s electricity with their respective systems. The Current War premiered to lackluster reviews at the Toronto Film Festival, with criticism over its length and pacing. Since then, Gomez-Rejon and editor David Trachtenberg have shaved 12 minutes off the movie.
Still, in the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment scandal, there’s a toxicity in the marketplace that would kill this movie, especially with Cumberbatch blasting Weinstein on Tuesday, saying, “I am utterly disgusted by the continuing revelations of Harvey Weinstein’s horrifying and unforgivable actions…We need to collectively stand up and support victims of abuse such as the brave and inspiring women who have spoken out against him and say we hear you and believe you.” Distance is the best ally for The Current War as the Weinstein Co. reviews its release options.
Per Bob Weinstein’s statement yesterday, the horror film Polaroid will be going wide on Nov. 22, followed by CanalPlus’ Paddington 2 on Jan. 12.
The Current War was originally scheduled to open in a limited number of theaters on Nov. 24. The Thanksgiving stretch has historically been a prime launching pad for TWC, with such Oscar winners as The King’s Speech, The Artist, and The Imitation Game in that space.