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Benedict Cumberbatch has his pick when it comes to leading roles and his latest is as 19th century inventor Thomas Edison. The forthcoming biopic, The Current War, dramatizes the competition between genius engineers Edison and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon).

Both men developed electrical systems, with Edison having the support of banker J.P Morgan, lighting up all of Manhattan to impress the masses. On the other hand, Westinghouse, who was working with fellow engineer Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult), spotted some flaws in Edison’s design.

While we know the outcome, for the most part, this was quite the battle at the time. It wasn’t just about bragging rights, with Cumberbatch saying in the trailer, “The man who controls that current, controls the future.” In addition to power, there was a lot of money at stake.

The battle gets dirty when Edison accuses Westinghouse’s system of being lethal, saying the current kills people.

The cast is rounded out with Tom Holland (Spider-Man), Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts) and Matthew Macfadyen (Ripper Street).

The Current War, directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and executive-produced by Martin Scorsese, will hit theaters on October 4.

You can also look for Cumberbatch in Good Omens, streaming on Amazon Prime. He’s currently filming 1917, also starring Colin FirthRichard Madden and Andrew Scott.

What do you think of Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of this polarizing public figure? 

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By Brigid Brown