The film that chronicles the race to light the world has had a twisty road to release. In fact, THE CURRENT WAR – DIRECTOR'S CUT that moviegoers will see in theatres starting October 25 is not the same film that screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017.
"There were times that this film left me shattered for so long that sometimes I couldn’t see the light," director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon told Deadline. For a laundry list of reasons we won't get into here, Gomez-Rejon's vision almost didn't come to fruition, and a different version of the film — with his name attached, but not his support — was almost released overseas.
But then, like a superhero putting on his suit, Martin Scorsese stepped in to save the day.
Scorsese executive produced THE CURRENT WAR – DIRECTOR'S CUT and has been a mentor of sorts to Gomez-Rejon, who interned at his office and aided in a handful of his projects. The original contract gave Scorsese the final signoff, and he seized the opportunity to give Gomez-Rejon and his team another chance to cut the film as they wanted. Within one day, they finished the reshoots, which added five new scenes.
Gomez-Rejon explained to Deadline, "Everything missing is there now, including the right pacing that escalates the tension between these two men. The heart of the film is restored: Edison’s relationship with his wife, and the explanation of her fatal illness and what it did to him. You feel her loss deeply and it carries you through as he goes to a dark side without her there to humanize his ambition. Westinghouse has been humanized without making him a saint, and there are now layers and complicated performances so that instead of spoon-fed emotion, everything is earned. The music heightens the tensions of their war. There are new scenes with Tesla, who was never meant to be a lead character but now you see his genius and vulnerability. He doesn’t feel forgotten in this movie, and he gives heart and clarity to the clash between these two men and what drives them to go to such dark places."
We can understand why Gomez-Rejon felt it was important to include DIRECTOR'S CUT in the film's title, as THE CURRENT WAR is now a property he can be proud to attach his name to. A thank you to Scorsese is in order, not only for his contributions, but also his integrity in ensuring the film was the best it could be.
Get your advanced tickets to THE CURRENT WAR – DIRECTOR'S CUT at AMC today.