We did it, you guys. According to Variety, Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon are currently in talks to star in "The Current War" as Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, respectively, with Nicholas Hoult lined up to portray Nikola Tesla. The movie will be set in the late 1880s and revolve around power titans Edison and Westinghouse’s battle over the supply of electricity.
While the film has been in development for some time, this news literally broke yesterday. If you recall, I mentioned last week that I hoped they make this story into a movie. Coincidence?! Well, we better get on with Part II, otherwise the Hollywood execs reading this will have an incomplete script to work with:
The Bet: Tesla insisted he could increase the efficiency of Edison's DC technology. Edison brushed him off for some time, however, Tesla persisted and the duo eventually settled on a bet for an alleged fifty-thousand dollars. With this motivator, Tesla got to work and didn't stop for several months. With marginal success and proof to back it, Tesla demanded his reward, to which a smug Edison claimed that the offer was a joke, citing, "When you become a full-fledged American, you will appreciate an American joke." Very funny...
The Fallout: Instead of fulfilling his promise and effectively making Tesla what today would be considered a millionaire, Edison offered him a raise to ten dollars per week. Ever prideful, Tesla turned down the raise and quit his job at Edison's company. He would go on to pick up odd jobs and work as a ditch digger until he finally saved up enough money to found The Electric Light Company. Here he developed several successful patents including AC generators, wires, transformers, lights, and a 100 horsepower AC motor.
What Goes Around: A visionary first and a businessman second, Tesla ended up selling most of his patents to inventor, entrepreneur, and engineer: George Westinghouse (played by Michael Shannon in my movie). Westinghouse had himself been in a feud with Edison for years. This partnership enraged Edison as it made AC all the more popular; a move he had been working to prevent.
Find out what comes back around on this electric karma train next week in Part III, our final additon to War of the Currents. I know I had previosuly planned for this to be a two-parter, but now I'm just capitalizing on the success of getting a movie deal out of the whole thing. I wish!
to be continued...