Jake Gyllenhaal and Benedict Cumberbatch at War in New Film

Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Jake Gyllenhaal and Benedict Cumberbatch have proven themselves to be two of the best actors in Hollywood today, and now they’re looking to join forces on the big screen. Both of the acclaimed actors are reportedly currently in talks to star in the Weinstein Company’s upcoming historical drama, The Current War.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gyllenhaal and Cumberbatch are now in negotiations to star in the project, which takes place in the late 1880s and revolves around power titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse as they battle over the supply of electricity. Should they sign on, Cumberbatch would play Edison, who championed the use of a direct current (DC) for electric power distribution over an alternating current (AC). Meanwhile, Gyllenhaal would play Westinghouse, whose electric company, along with several European companies, backed the use of AC. Neither star has officially closed a deal yet, but the prospect of seeing two top talents join forces is certainly worth getting excited over.

The project is building a strong team behind-the-scenes as well. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is in line to direct the movie, based on a script from Michael Mitnick (The Giver). Timur Bekmambetov (who directed 2008’s Wanted) will produce the project via his Bazelevs banner alongside Film Rites’ Steven Zaillian and Garrett Basch. 

Gomez-Rejon is coming off a big year, having earned critical acclaim for helming the Sundance Film Festival darling Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Should he close a deal for the project, the director will reportedly begin work on The Current War after his next film, Collateral Beauty starring Will Smith, which begins shooting this fall.

For Gyllenhaal, the project will be the latest in an already jam-packed schedule. The actor has kept very busy in 2015, kicking off the year with the long-delayed political comedy Accidental Love and following it with the boxing drama Southpaw. He’s currently starring in the disaster drama Everest and also has the comedy drama Demolition due out in the spring.

He’s showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Gyllenhaal is already set to star in the biographical crime drama The Man Who Made It Snow. He is also co-starring in Tom Ford’s feature Nocturnal Animals, which is set to begin filming this fall.

While Cumberbatch hasn’t appeared on the big screen quite as much as Gyllenhaal this year, the actor has remained plenty busy. He can currently be seen co-starring alongside Johnny Depp in Scott Cooper’s Black Mass and will return to the small screen in the upcoming Christmas Special of Sherlock. Cumberbatch is also set to lend his voice to a character in the animated feature Magik and will play Shere Khan in Andy Serkis’ Jungle Book: Origins. But the most high-profile of his upcoming projects is Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange, which is scheduled to begin shooting in November 2015.

We’ll have to stay tuned for more details, but the project certainly seems off to a promising start with two such skilled actors potentially on board. Should Gyllenhaal and Cumberbatch choose to sign on, it’ll likely be a while before we see The Current War hit the big screen, as both stars are busy with other projects this fall.

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