Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s upcoming film The Current War has been moved from its Thanksgiving weekend Friday release date to an unspecified weekend next year.
The Thanksgiving holiday had been a traditional weekend for the studio to launch films they were pushing for Academy Award consideration. Previously, the Weinstein Company had premiered Oscar winners Oscar winners The King’s Speech, The Artist and The Imitation Game all in that weekend.
In the film, Benedict Cumberbatch stars as a young Thomas Edison, who is racing against his rival George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) to be the one who sets the standard for the growing need to electrify the country. Nicholas Hoult also stars as maverick inventor Nikola Tesla.
The official word is that the film is being re-edited following a lukewarm reception last month at the Toronto Film Festival. Deadline is reporting that director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and editor David Trachtenberg have already trimmed the film’s running time by twelve minutes with more work being done.
Of course, the big elephant in the room here is that the film is a Weinstein Company production. From a cold, calculated point of view, it is understandable that the company would like to put some distance between itself and Harvey Weinstein’s ongoing sexual assault scandal. Star Cumberbatch did speak out about Weinstein earlier this week, stating “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.”
Is the re-edit being used to as cover to help preserve the film’s chances as a possible future awards contender by moving it away from the Weinstein scandal? Or is there a bit of convenience that the film needs more work and there is the side benefit to moving its release date? Ultimately, I don’t think it matters much. I would rather see that the film and the hard work put into it by its cast and crew gets the consideration it deserves outside of the events swirling around the now former head of its studio.