The Current War

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Those of us who have grown up having electricity our entire lives generally don’t think too much about the particulars of how the lights go on. There was a time, before everything was standardized and the limits of what electricity could do for us was known, where the world watched as the specifics of how best to harness electrical energy was bitterly debated, however. The basic argument was between direct current, where energy always flows in one direction between positive and negative terminals, and alternating current, where the direction of an electrical current reverses 50 or 60 times a second, depending on whether you’re in Europe or the United States. Sounds boring, right? Maybe not. The Weinstein Company seems to think that there’s a way to present the electricity debates of the late 1800s as a dramatic feature that would keep even modern, celebrity gossip-obsessed audiences engaged, because they’ve just put some money behind a Black List script by Michael Mitnick called The Current War that covers this very topic, and it looks like this is a project that they want to put on the fast track to production. Before you scoff at the idea of throwing a bunch of money and resources at a movie about scientific debates, know that this was the issue that eventually led to Thomas Edison publicly electrocuting an elephant to death. Yeah, things escalated quickly.

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