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Though presently in the thick of post-production on his latest effort, the big-budget, horror-infused historical fiction Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, director Timur Bekmambetov is already eying a curious script for his next effort. Variety reveals Bekmambetov's production company Bazelevs has purchased The Current War, which scored a spot on the 2011 Black List, as a directing vehicle for the celebrated genre-bender.

Penned by first-time scribe Michael Mitnick, this seemingly spectacular spec script chronicles the fevered race between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to be the first inventor to manifest a sustainable electrical current. At first blush The Current War looks to be a pretty straightforward historical drama—without vampires or conspiracy theories—so it is an unexpected pick for Bekmambetov, who is best-known for crafting visually striking action features with a high-contrast aesthetic and a high-octane sensibility, like Night Watch, Day Watch and Wanted. However, rumor has it that envelope-pushing comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat, The Dictator) had expressed an interest in playing The Current War's Edison, which suggests there may be more to this screenplay than its logline lets on.

Now that they've officially laid claim to the script, Bekmambetov and producer Steve Zaillian (The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo) can begin the casting process for The Current War. At this point, there's no word on whether or not they will pursue Cohen for the role he's eyed, though I must admit that possibility does intrigue me. Of course, whatever the cast, it will be interesting to see what Bekmambetov and his distinct aesthetic will bring to 1870s American history.

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