Benedict Cumberbatch Current War Sherlock

Benedict Cumberbatch To Play Thomas Edison, Original Artwork For Charity Auction

Benedict Cumberbatch’s new movie, The Current War, is this week being filmed at the Pavilion Gardens in Brighton, which is currently awash with actors and extras wearing period costumes for the story of the rivalry between inventors George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison in their race to invent a marketable electricity system.

The Brighton and Hove News reports that the movie is set in the late 1800s and the Pavilion Gardens represents the Chicago World Fair, which became their battleground as they fought to win the contract for lighting the fairground at night.

Whether Cumberbatch will make an appearance at this filming location is not known at this point, but star spotters have seen a zebra and a llama being led onto the set. Cumberbatch plays Thomas Edison, the American inventor, while his rival George Westinghouse is played by Michael Shannon. Other British actors in The Current War include Tom Holland, Nicholas Hoult, Matthew MacFadyen and Katherine Waterston. The film is being produced by the Weinstein Company, who have great expectations for the success of the film.

“Edison and Westinghouse’s rivalry is the ultimate tale of competition driving ingenuity. Theirs was a battle of intellect, a race of creativity and technological innovation that we see echoed in the self-made inventors dominating spaces like Silicon Valley. We’re thrilled to start filming and to share this historical rivalry with audiences everywhere.”

Cumberbatch and Adam Ackland are both executive producers of the film.

Benedict Cumberbatch has performed in television, film, theater, and radio, and in the 2015 Birthday Honours, Cumberbatch was appointed Commander of The Order of The British Empire for his services to the performing arts and charity. Cumberbatch portrayed Stephen Hawking in 2004 in the television movie Hawking, then in 2010, he became Sherlock Holmes in the British television series Sherlock.

This was followed by his appearance in 2011 in two Oscar-nominated films, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Warhorse. Then in 2013 came his acclaimed role in Star Trek Into Darkness, plus starring roles in The Fifth Estate, August, and the Oscar-Winning Drama 12 Years a Slave. He earned a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award in 2014 for his betrayal of Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, plus a British Academy of Film and Television Arts and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

In his new movie, The Current War, Cumberbatch’s Edison is in a race to create a sustainable electricity system. Edison preferred the use of a direct current for electric power distribution instead of an alternating current which was the preferred choice of many European companies, including Westinghouse Electric.

Deadline reports that the script for the film was written by Michael Mitnick (The Giver) and that the movie is due for release later this year.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Joanna Lumley are just two of many stars who are contributing works to raise money for a London-based children’s charity. The Evening Standard reported that the stars either painted or drew works to feature among prizes in a raffle designed to raise money for educational arts programs in Malawi and Kenya.

Other celebrities who have also contributed works include Felicity Jones, Daniel Craig, singer Laura Marling, and artist Conrad Shawcross. The raffle has been organized by Anno’s Africa, a London charity, to raise money to expand their work in Malawi and build an arts center in Kibera, one of Kenya’s poorest slums. Anno’s Africa is a charity founded by Londoner Bee Gilbert in memory of her 20-year-old son Anno Birkin, a writer and musician who died in a car crash in 2001. Gilbert said the charity aimed to provide children with the opportunity to have fun and express themselves.

“Anno loved to write and make music, that was his joy in his life and that’s what he wanted to do. I happened to be in Africa three months after I found out Anno had died and I saw all these kids who had never been to school, who didn’t have a pencil, let alone access to paint and I thought what better way to celebrate Anno’s legacy than give these kids a chance to be creative and have fun on the way.”

This year marks the charity’s 10th anniversary, and Cumberbatch and Lumley have been long-time supporters. Today, the charity works with more than 1,700 children in Malawi and Kenya, together with its sister organization One Fine Day. Tickets for the raffle can be bought until February 22, and cost £10 (approximately $12.50).

In other news, Benedict Cumberbatch and Elbow have recreated the incredibly famous pop video, “Cry.” The Express reported that the original video was part of the creative revolution of pop over 30 years ago.

Lol Creme and Kevin Godley were former 10cc musicians who used their talents to create the innovative black and white film which morphed one face into another. Michael Jackson later copied this technique in the “Black or White” video. Elbow frontman, Guy Garvey, came up with the idea of paying homage in their video for the new track “Gentle Storm,” and Cumberbatch offered to help out.

Godley admitted that, at first, he was confused by the idea and wondered why Garvey would want something that was already out there.

“Then I realized ‘out there’ really meant ‘out there since 1985’ and a whole generation or three wouldn’t have seen the original, or have a clue who Godley & Creme were. So, to a world of millennials it would probably be ‘who the f***?”‘

Garvey was thrilled that Godley was up for it, and they put together a group of family and friends so everybody could be in it.

“The shoot day was incredible. Video shoots can be quite grim but it was such a great atmosphere that Kevin created and the finished film is something we are amazingly proud to be involved with.”

[Featured Image by Chris Pizzello/AP Images]