Amazon Studios Sets Book & Alfonso Gomez-Rejon Movie On Rise & Fall Of New York Club Owner Peter Gatien

EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios has set Alfonso Gomez-Rejon to direct Limelight, a feature being written by Nick Pileggi & J.J. Sacha about the reign and fall of Peter Gatien, the 1990s king of Gotham nightlife who owned the hip clubs Limelight and The Tunnel.
Jennifer Gatien (his daughter) will produce with Christopher Donnelly of LBI. Gatien, a dashing Canadian with an eye patch to cover a youthful hockey accident that gave him seed money for his first club, worked his way…

EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios has set Alfonso Gomez-Rejon to direct Limelight, a feature being written by Nick Pileggi & J.J. Sacha about the reign and fall of Peter Gatien, the 1990s king of Gotham nightlife who owned the hip clubs Limelight and The Tunnel. Jennifer Gatien (his daughter) will produce with Christopher Donnelly of LBI. Gatien, a dashing Canadian with an eye patch to cover a youthful hockey accident that gave him seed money for his first club, worked his way…

Toronto Film Review: ‘The Current War’

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s “The Current War” tackles a fascinating pivot point in technological and commercial history: the late 19th century battle between Thomas Alva Edison and George Westinghouse to fully electrify the United States. It benefits from a smart, snappy script and a well-rounded cast, and gives its director the chance to employ virtually every camera… Read more »

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s “The Current War” tackles a fascinating pivot point in technological and commercial history: the late 19th century battle between Thomas Alva Edison and George Westinghouse to fully electrify the United States. It benefits from a smart, snappy script and a well-rounded cast, and gives its director the chance to employ virtually every camera... Read more »

‘The Current War’ Toronto Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Sparks Quirky Historical Drama

Saturday night at the Toronto International Film Festival was a night for ambitious period dramas from relatively new directors only one movie removed from making small indies. First there was “Wadjda” director Haifaa al-Mansour with the uneven literary saga “Mary Shelley” — and about an hour after that film let out at Roy Thomson Hall, “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon premiered his new film, “The Current War,” a block away at the Princess of Wales Theatre.

Gomez-Rejon’s film begins in 1880 – when, as a title card tells us, “the world is still lit by fire.” But that’s soon to change, thanks to the central figures in Gomez-Rejon’s playful historical tale: inventor Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch), businessman George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) and eccentric French genius Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult).

There are a few things it helps to know before seeing the film, which the Weinstein Company will release in the U.S.: Edison, the most famous inventor in the country, was racing to supply electric light and power to cities via a system of direct-current electricity, which powered Edison’s state-of-the-art lightbulbs but required short distances between generators. Westinghouse was playing catch-up, but he had a cheaper system that used alternating current and required far fewer generators – the drawback being that AC was too powerful to work with small electrical appliances, and was more dangerous.

Also Read: ‘Mary Shelley’ Toronto Review: Elle Fanning Biopic Gets Monstrously Silly

The film title calls it a war, but the conflict between Edison and Westinghouse was more of a series of skirmishes. Westinghouse originally wanted the two men to join forces, but Edison felt ripped off and wouldn’t concede that AC was a better option in the long run; over time, they battled over patents, over the contract for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1993, even over the first electric chair. (In a shot at his rival that today’s political spin doctors would envy, Edison tried to get the press to use the word “westinghousing” rather than “electrocution.”)

Spanning a few decades and incorporating a fair amount of visual effects, “The Current War” is a challenging undertaking for a director known for a couple of small films. But Gomez-Rejon serves notice right away that he has no intention of ditching his indie instincts just because this is a big movie; with wry humor, occasional off-kilter camera angles and enough quirkiness to keep it out of the Oscar Bait category you might expect of a true-life period drama, its opening stretch feels surprisingly fresh.

But it’s hard to pull off a quirky historical epic, and as “The Current War” goes on it is sometimes too artsy to tell a clear story, sometimes too straightforward to retain its indie sensibility. Cumberbatch is fine as a man who’s too smart for his own good, and unpleasant enough that we have to see him being good to his kids so we can warm up to him; Shannon does well as the more reasonable of the men, and Hoult appears so sporadically as Tesla that his eccentricities never really register.

The film has some magical moments, but it’s tough to pull off the balancing act Gomez-Rejon is trying to achieve for the full course of “The Current War.” But better a historical film that tries to be fresh over one that toes the line.

Plus, a postscript of sorts adds this kicker: Edison patented the movie camera, too, so he’s the reason we were all in Toronto.

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Saturday night at the Toronto International Film Festival was a night for ambitious period dramas from relatively new directors only one movie removed from making small indies. First there was “Wadjda” director Haifaa al-Mansour with the uneven literary saga “Mary Shelley” — and about an hour after that film let out at Roy Thomson Hall, “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon premiered his new film, “The Current War,” a block away at the Princess of Wales Theatre.

Gomez-Rejon’s film begins in 1880 – when, as a title card tells us, “the world is still lit by fire.” But that’s soon to change, thanks to the central figures in Gomez-Rejon’s playful historical tale: inventor Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch), businessman George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) and eccentric French genius Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult).

There are a few things it helps to know before seeing the film, which the Weinstein Company will release in the U.S.: Edison, the most famous inventor in the country, was racing to supply electric light and power to cities via a system of direct-current electricity, which powered Edison’s state-of-the-art lightbulbs but required short distances between generators. Westinghouse was playing catch-up, but he had a cheaper system that used alternating current and required far fewer generators – the drawback being that AC was too powerful to work with small electrical appliances, and was more dangerous.

The film title calls it a war, but the conflict between Edison and Westinghouse was more of a series of skirmishes. Westinghouse originally wanted the two men to join forces, but Edison felt ripped off and wouldn’t concede that AC was a better option in the long run; over time, they battled over patents, over the contract for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1993, even over the first electric chair. (In a shot at his rival that today’s political spin doctors would envy, Edison tried to get the press to use the word “westinghousing” rather than “electrocution.”)

Spanning a few decades and incorporating a fair amount of visual effects, “The Current War” is a challenging undertaking for a director known for a couple of small films. But Gomez-Rejon serves notice right away that he has no intention of ditching his indie instincts just because this is a big movie; with wry humor, occasional off-kilter camera angles and enough quirkiness to keep it out of the Oscar Bait category you might expect of a true-life period drama, its opening stretch feels surprisingly fresh.

But it’s hard to pull off a quirky historical epic, and as “The Current War” goes on it is sometimes too artsy to tell a clear story, sometimes too straightforward to retain its indie sensibility. Cumberbatch is fine as a man who’s too smart for his own good, and unpleasant enough that we have to see him being good to his kids so we can warm up to him; Shannon does well as the more reasonable of the men, and Hoult appears so sporadically as Tesla that his eccentricities never really register.

The film has some magical moments, but it’s tough to pull off the balancing act Gomez-Rejon is trying to achieve for the full course of “The Current War.” But better a historical film that tries to be fresh over one that toes the line.

Plus, a postscript of sorts adds this kicker: Edison patented the movie camera, too, so he’s the reason we were all in Toronto.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Jessica Chastain Brings Poker Princess Molly Bloom Into Sharp Focus at Toronto

Toronto Film Market: Indie Distributors Struggle as Netflix, Amazon Look to Dominate (Again)

Oscar Season Hits Toronto: 25 TIFF Movies With a Lot to Prove

‘Spider-Man’ Star Tom Holland to Play Young Nathan Drake in Sony’s ‘Uncharted’ Franchise

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” star Tom Holland is attached to another major Sony franchise, joining Shawn Levy‘s “Uncharted,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Levy is directing the adaptation of the hit video game in which Holland is set to star as the young treasure hunter thief Nathan Drake. The film will take its inspiration from a sequence in the third version of the famous video game, in which Drake first meets professional rogue, Sullivan.

Sony is yet to find a writer for the screenplay, which will be retooled as a prequel. Producers include Charles Roven, Avi Arad, Alex Gartner and Ari Arad.

Also Read: How Spider-Man Tom Holland Earned Batman Michael Keaton’s Respect (Exclusive)

“Uncharted” is an action-adventure third-person shooter video game, following protagonist Drake, a treasure hunter who journeys across the world to uncover historical mysteries. The first game was released in 2007, followed by various gaming sequels.

Holland first made his appearance as Spider-Man in last year’s “Captain America: Civil War.”

His first standalone film will hit theaters on July 7, also starring Zendaya, Robert Downey Jr. and Marisa Tomei. Holland will portray the webbed superhero after Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield played the character on the big screen.

See Video: ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ New Trailer: Vulture Wreaks Havoc on Staten Island Ferry

The young British actor, who went adventuring in this spring’s “The Lost City of Z,” will also next star in The Weinstein Company’s “The Current War” alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon and Katherine Waterston. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon will direct.

Holland is represented by WME, Viewpoint LA and Curtis Brown.

Deadline first reported the news.

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‘Spider-Man’ Star Tom Holland Joins Benedict Cumberbatch in ‘The Current War’

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” star Tom Holland is attached to another major Sony franchise, joining Shawn Levy‘s “Uncharted,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Levy is directing the adaptation of the hit video game in which Holland is set to star as the young treasure hunter thief Nathan Drake. The film will take its inspiration from a sequence in the third version of the famous video game, in which Drake first meets professional rogue, Sullivan.

Sony is yet to find a writer for the screenplay, which will be retooled as a prequel. Producers include Charles Roven, Avi Arad, Alex Gartner and Ari Arad.

“Uncharted” is an action-adventure third-person shooter video game, following protagonist Drake, a treasure hunter who journeys across the world to uncover historical mysteries. The first game was released in 2007, followed by various gaming sequels.

Holland first made his appearance as Spider-Man in last year’s “Captain America: Civil War.”

His first standalone film will hit theaters on July 7, also starring Zendaya, Robert Downey Jr. and Marisa Tomei. Holland will portray the webbed superhero after Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield played the character on the big screen.

The young British actor, who went adventuring in this spring’s “The Lost City of Z,” will also next star in The Weinstein Company’s “The Current War” alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon and Katherine Waterston. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon will direct.

Holland is represented by WME, Viewpoint LA and Curtis Brown.

Deadline first reported the news.

Related stories from TheWrap:

16 Breakout Movie Stars of 2016, From Gal Gadot to Tom Holland (Photos)

Tom Holland Circles 'Chaos Walking' Opposite Daisy Ridley

'Spider-Man' Star Tom Holland Joins Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Current War'

Benedict Cumberbatch Sparks To Thomas Edison In ‘The Current War’ – First-Look Photo

Benedict Cumberbatch generated his fair share of sparks as the titular medic-turned-mystical-arts-master in 2016 smash Doctor Strange. Now, he’s channeling electricity of a different sort. The Oscar nominee is playing Thomas Edison in The Weinstein Co’s The Current War which is currently filming. Check out the first-look pic of Cumberbatch as the Wizard of Menlo Park, above.
The late-1880s-set Current War sees Cumberbatch’s Edison face off with Michael Shannon‘s George…

Benedict Cumberbatch generated his fair share of sparks as the titular medic-turned-mystical-arts-master in 2016 smash Doctor Strange. Now, he’s channeling electricity of a different sort. The Oscar nominee is playing Thomas Edison in The Weinstein Co’s The Current War which is currently filming. Check out the first-look pic of Cumberbatch as the Wizard of Menlo Park, above. The late-1880s-set Current War sees Cumberbatch’s Edison face off with Michael Shannon's George…

Benedict Cumberbatch’s First Look as Thomas Edison in ‘The Current War’ (Photo)

Benedict Cumberbatch may play the inventor of the lightbulb in the upcoming historic drama “The Current War,” but the first image of him from the film is decidedly dark.

The Weinstein Company provided a sneak peek at the Oscar-nominated British actor as Thomas Edison in director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s upcoming movie, which is set in the late 1880s.

The film tracks Edison’s rivalry with George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) to build a marketable and sustainable electricity system.

Also Read: ‘Spider-Man’ Star Tom Holland Joins Benedict Cumberbatch in ‘The Current War’

The Weinstein Company

Edison championed the use of a direct current for electric power distribution over an alternating current, which was backed by Westinghouse Electric and a host of European companies.

The film, with a script by Michael Mitnick (“The Giver”) , also stars Katherine Waterston (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”), Tom Holland (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”), Matthew Macfadyen (“Ripper Street”) and Tuppence Middleton (“The Imitation Game”) and Nicholas Hoult (“Mad Max: Fury Road”) as Nikola Tesla.

Also Read: Benedict Cumberbatch Is Related to ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The film marks a return to historical biopics for Cumberbatch, who earned an Oscar nomination for his role as WWII code-breaker Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game.” Gomez-Rijon’s last film was the Sundance darling “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.”

Basil Iwanyk, Timur Bekmanbetov, and Harvey Weinstein are producing “The Current War,” with Cumberbatch and Adam Ackland serving as executive producers.

“The Current War” doesn’t have a release date yet but it’s expected in theaters later in 2017.

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Benedict Cumberbatch may play the inventor of the lightbulb in the upcoming historic drama “The Current War,” but the first image of him from the film is decidedly dark.

The Weinstein Company provided a sneak peek at the Oscar-nominated British actor as Thomas Edison in director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s upcoming movie, which is set in the late 1880s.

The film tracks Edison’s rivalry with George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) to build a marketable and sustainable electricity system.

The Weinstein Company

Edison championed the use of a direct current for electric power distribution over an alternating current, which was backed by Westinghouse Electric and a host of European companies.

The film, with a script by Michael Mitnick (“The Giver”) , also stars Katherine Waterston (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”), Tom Holland (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”), Matthew Macfadyen (“Ripper Street”) and Tuppence Middleton (“The Imitation Game”) and Nicholas Hoult (“Mad Max: Fury Road”) as Nikola Tesla.

The film marks a return to historical biopics for Cumberbatch, who earned an Oscar nomination for his role as WWII code-breaker Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game.” Gomez-Rijon’s last film was the Sundance darling “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.”

Basil Iwanyk, Timur Bekmanbetov, and Harvey Weinstein are producing “The Current War,” with Cumberbatch and Adam Ackland serving as executive producers.

“The Current War” doesn’t have a release date yet but it’s expected in theaters later in 2017.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Benedict Cumberbatch to Return as 'Doctor Strange' in 'Thor: Ragnarok'

Benedict Cumberbatch Is Related to 'Sherlock Holmes' Writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Watch Benedict Cumberbatch Make a Surprising Confession in New 'Sherlock' Trailer (Video)

Watch 'SNL' Attempt to Figure Out Why Benedict Cumberbatch Is Hot (Video)