‘The Current War’ Director Says Weinstein Ruined Film in the Editing Room, New Cut Lands U.S. Release

IndieWire | 11/26/2010 | Staff
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Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s “The Current War” has been saved by new distributor Upstart 101. Deadline reports the company has closed a domestic distribution deal for the movie and is planning to use the title as its first major theatrical release this summer. Upstart 101 paid around $3 million for “The Current War,” which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison and Michael Shannon as George Westinghouse and focuses on the two historical figures as they race to complete revolutionary electrical systems.

“The Current War” was originally set up at The Weinstein Company and premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, a few months before the wave of sexual harassment and abuse accusations against Harvey Weinstein derailed the company. “The Current War” was one of the big critical misfires of TIFF (IndieWire’s David Ehrlich gave the film a D review), but Gomez-Rejon tells Deadline the film that premiered at the festival was not the cut he intended. The filmmaker said Weinstein’s intense pressure to meet the TIFF deadline resulted in a rushed post-production that botched the movie.

Toronto - Cut - Rush - Time - Gomez-Rejon

“It had been accepted to Toronto based on an early cut and then came the rush to finish in time,” Gomez-Rejon said. “I knew in my heart, and every fiber of my body was saying, it’s not ready. I was drowning in notes, to the point I was addressing them more than editing the film. I’d get them from London, and then more from New York. We rushed the mix, ADR, sound. You go in knowing [Harvey Weinstein’s reputation for re-cutting films]. People warned me to be careful and I was determined to not be another casualty until I saw the [Toronto] cut and felt like an idiot. I went in fearless and then suddenly you realize you are a casualty, a footnote.”

Gomez-Rejon said being in the...
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