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Cumberbatch to shine light on Thomas Edison in 'Current War'

Sparks will fly as Benedict Cumberbatch embodies Edison in an 1880s period piece about the race to create a profitable and dependable electricity system.

Benedict Cumberbatch will play Thomas Edison in "The Current War."
The Weinstein Company

Fans of Benedict Cumberbatch know the British actor for playing fictional crusaders such as Doctor Strange and Sherlock Holmes, but his roles as real-life icons Alan Turing, Julian Assange and Stephen Hawking have left a greater impression on film critics.

One of Cumberbatch's next roles will again touch the real world. He will play one of America's best-known inventors, Thomas Edison, in the upcoming film "The Current War."

The movie takes place in the late 1880s and tells the story of "The War of Currents" in which Edison battles with American entrepreneur and inventor George Westinghouse over how America will get its electricity. Edison was all for direct current, while Westinghouse favored an alternating current. The film may also delve into the bitter feud Edison had with inventor Nikola Tesla. The film's first photo, which appeared Saturday on "The Wrap," doesn't reveal much other than Cumberbatch's dapper, pensive look as the legendary inventor.

The cast also includes Michael Shannon as Westinghouse, Nicholas Hoult as Tesla, as well as actors Katherine Waterston, Tom Holland, Matthew Macfadyen and Tuppence Middleton.

The film, which has yet to announce a release date, is directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.

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