The film, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison, was planned for November
The Weinstein Co. claims it is business as usual in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, but one of its upcoming projects has been shelved: The Current War, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison.
Bob Weinstein, Harvey’s brother, released a statement on Friday dispelling reports “that the company or board is exploring a sale or shutdown.” While he specifically named films like Paddington 2 and the Robert De Niro vehicle War with Grandpa, The Current War was left out of his remarks. The studio has now moved the awards season title from its planned release on Nov. 24 to an undisclosed time in 2018, according to Deadline.
The shift comes after The Current War screenwriter Michael Mitnick dropped out of a New York Film Festival panel on Thursday. Variety reported that Mitnick found it inappropriate to promote the film at this time.
The Current War follows the race between Edison and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) to create a marketable and sustainable electricity system for America in the 19th century. Nicholas Hoult also features as Nikola Tesla. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to tepid reviews, but the studio at large has since been marred by the numerous allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Weinstein, who was fired from his post on Sunday.
The New York Times reported the board of The Weinstein Co. knew about payouts Weinstein made to women before his 2015 contract renegotiation. Though, the company previously claimed, “The Weinstein Company’s Board of Representatives — Bob Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg, and Tarak Ben Ammar — are shocked and dismayed by the recently emerged allegations of extreme sexual misconduct and sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein. These alleged actions are antithetical to human decency. These allegations come as an utter surprise to the Board. Any suggestion that the Board had knowledge of this conduct is false.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara A. Hudes, creators of In the Heights, have called upon The Weinstein Co. to drop the musical’s movie adaptation in light of the scandal. Television networks have begun scrubbing the studio’s logo off shows, Oliver Stone removed himself from the planned Guantanamo series, and Amazon scrapped its David O. Russell project with the company.
In an extensive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bob Weinstein said “there is a plan” to maintain The Weinstein Co., though likely with a less “familial” name.
“All I’m trying to do right now is go forward, figure out a plan, me and [COO] David Glasser and the board members have an idea of what we’d like to do, that we think would be the responsible thing to do for all the critics, rightfully so, with regards to the TWC side and yet for people to keep their jobs,” he said. “And the pieces of the business that still can be resurrected and continue, we think that they should.”