We’re all familiar with Nikola Tesla and his brilliant work helping to invent the electric technologies that we live with today. But did you know that there’s a guy named Thomas Edison who also helped invent some of that tech? If you didn’t, you should check out the new trailer for the upcoming movie, The Current War.
I’m joshing, of course, about the whole Tesla vs Edison thing. But Nikola Tesla has certainly gotten the majority of the headlines this decade. Tesla has received much coverage in popular history that it seems we’ve overcorrected in a lot of ways, raising Tesla to the level of sainthood, and pretending that Edison didn’t do anything. Both were important to the history of technological invention at the turn of the 20th century, to say nothing of other figures like George Westinghouse, who’s also seen in the film.
Directed by Alfonso Gomez‐Rejon (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), the movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison, Michael Shannon as George Westinghouse, Katherine Waterson as Westinghouse’s wife, and Nicholas Hoult as Nikola Tesla.
It looks like a fun flick. And judging by the trailer, Tesla is much more socially well adjusted than he was in real life. It’ll certainly be interesting to see if Tesla is just the wise-cracking pool shark who makes smug comments when Edison messes up. But it’s important to remember that this isn’t a documentary. Even the documentaries about the Edison vs Tesla feud are riddled with errors.
The film will premiere in Toronto this weekend and opens in wide release in November. But you probably shouldn’t go see it with your teenage cousin who just learned who Tesla was. Because you’ll never shut him up.