The Current War was released in the UK last summer – but it looks like we didn’t get the director’s cut.
The story of the movie The Current War isn’t a particularly fun one. The film – headlined by Tuppence Middleton, Katherine Waterston, Michael Shannon and Benedict Cumberbatch – was shot in late 2016/early 2017, with director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (who made the brilliant Me & Earl & The Dying Girl) at the helm.
However, the version that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2017 wasn’t his cut. Rather, it was the one approved by Harvey Weinstein and The Weinstein Company, much to Gomez-Rejon’s disappointment. Harvey Weinstein himself had admitted that he was involved in the film’s re-edit.
When the serious allegations against Weinstein surfaced, the movie’s expected December 2017 release was pulled, and it sat in limbo.
But it seemed there was some good news. When The Weinstein Company went into bankruptcy in October 2018, rights to the film were picked up by Lantern Entertainment. It did deals to get the film a release. Further down the line, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon was able to re-edit his movie, with no shortage of thanks to Martin Scorsese for helping him save his film.
His director’s cut took out ten minutes, inserted another five, and adds five new scenes to the film. The director’s cut runs for 101 minutes.
Yet it’s now come to light that the version theatrically released in the UK earlier this year wasn’t that cut.
Instead, it was the Harvey Weinstein-overseen version of the film, that runs for just over 107 minutes.
This has come to light courtesy of an interview with Business Insider on the eve of the film’s American release. In it, it’s been revealed that it was the earlier cut of the film played to middling reviews in Britain when it opened in July.
As the article noted, ‘letters were sent to distributors around the world pleading with them to not show the TIFF version Lantern was offering and to wait for Director’s Cut’.
It looks like in the UK, that request was not granted. That it managed to get a release in the UK at all and have a distributor willing to put it out in high summer is some achievement, of course. EFD is the UK distributor, and it backed the film heavily. It’s just a shame we appeared to have got the wrong cut.
The film arrives on disc here next month. It’s not confirmed as of yet just which cut of the film will be included on the DVD and Blu-ray. We’ll clarify as soon as we know.
With thanks to Anton Volkov for the heads up.
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