Current War: Michael Shannon Plays Thomas Westinghouse Opposite Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison

Michael Shannon will play Thomas Westinghouse in the Weinstein Co.’s The Current War.

Benedict Cumberbatch is on board to play Thomas Edison with Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”) set to direct.

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 story is one of two films centered on this famous 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 after Edison’s discovery of the electrical current.

TWC will finance and distribute the film.

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

Shannon was most recently seen in Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals,” which premiered at the Toronto Film Fest along with “Midnight Special” and “Loving.” He was also recently seen in “Poor Boy” and “Wolves.” He is currently filming “The Shape of Water.”