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Timur Bekmambetov Fighting Thomas Edison’s ‘Current War’

Written by on May 3, 2012 

If you wanted Timur Bekmambetov back in the director’s chair, the coupling of this news and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter hitting theaters next month should create satiation. The rest of us will groan and/or shrug at a report from Variety, in which we learn that the Kazakh helmer has bought the rights to Michael Mitnick‘s Black List script The Current War; he’ll be producing and directing through his Bazelevs banner, while Steve Zaillian‘s Film Rites are executive producing.

You’d imagine that, with the director of Wanted taking interest, this titular war would involve bullets, slow motion, and sweat — but the screenplay actually centers on a battle of the wits between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to create and sustain the world’s first electrical current. Which is not to say that bullets, slow motion, and sweat are entirely exempt, though I’d lower any expectations associated with the three.

(While it’s said that, acting-wise, Sacha Baron Cohen is interested in the Edison role, no one is entirely sure if an offer will be made, or if he has the time to do The Current War in the first place; stack that one in the “maybe” pile, basically.)

Anyhow, my basic, first impression of the whole ordeal is a smidge mixed. I’m a little predisposed toward historical dramas, personally, but Bekmambetov sounds about as wrong for this as he did for, say, Moby Dick. (And, boy, was he wrong for Melville.) Unless something in the script sparks his interests and sensibilities, why would this pairing of material and helmer even happen? The Current War has my mutual hope and skepticism.

How do you feel about Bekmambetov going the historical route?

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