The Current War 101 Studios

  • Alfonso Gomez-Rejon told Business Insider that for "The Current War: Director's Cut" he made a new scene that was inspired by his experience working with Harvey Weinstein.
  • "The Current War" was to be released by The Weinstein Company before the company shut down after the sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein became public.
  • But before that, Gomez-Rejon said the experience of working with the producer was filled with "a lot of bullying happening and a lot of intimidation."
  • Weinstein at one point even edited the movie behind Gomez-Rejon's back, the director said.
  • The director said that experience inspired the new scene in the movie in which Nikola Tesla is double-crossed by a businessman who takes his patents for his inventions.
  • "It was a scene that reflected how it feels when your voice is ripped away from you, which is what happened to me," Gomez-Rejon told Business Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon toiled through a 44-day shoot to make "The Current War," then practically lost control of it when Harvey Weinstein took over post production. Later, when Gomez-Rejon got his project back, the director added a scene to the movie inspired by his experience with Weinstein.

Gomez-Rejon's movie had, for months, found itself in limbo after the 2017 New York Times story detailing sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein spurred the collapse of The Weinstein Company, which was to release it. But after Gomez-Rejon's agents discovered a clause in his contract, which stipulated that his mentor Martin Scorsese had final cut approval on the movie, the director was able to go back and finish the movie the way he wanted to.

In theaters starting Friday, "The Current War: Director's Cut" is vastly different from the previous Weinstein-controlled version that world premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017 to horrendous reviews. It has better CGI, music, and a few new scenes that improve the story.

One of those new scenes involves Nikola Tesla, played by Nicholas Hoult, being duped by a businessman. Gomez-Rejon said it's based on working with Weinstein.

Alfonso Gomez Rejon Getty
In the scene, Tesla is informed by the businessman who is financing his innovative inventions that due to lack of progress, he's kicking Tesla out of his work space and is keeping all Tesla's patents. Tesla is gobsmacked as he realizes he has to start from scratch once again.

"It was a scene that reflected how it feels when your voice is ripped away from you, which is what happened to me," Gomez-Rejon told Business Insider. "I wanted to get that emotion that I had out on the page."

Gomez-Rejon said working with Weinstein involved "a lot of bullying happening and a lot of intimidation."

The director said the notes Weinstein gave him about the movie were constant and didn't just come from him, but also came from other executives at The Weinstein Company offices of New York, Los Angeles, and London.

Read more: "Terminator: Dark Fate" finally gives us a worthy movie in the franchise after years of duds

The process was so overwhelming for Gomez-Rejon that in trying to get some portion of his vision into the cut that played at the Toronto International Film Festival, he ended up sleeping just two hours a day and losing 25 pounds, he said.

But with the release of "Director's Cut," Gomez-Rejon can hold his head high.

"I had my first public screening a month ago and it hit me that it's really happening," he said. "Tears just started to flow. Out of nowhere. I hadn't cried in years. It made me realize that anything I take on now I will expect the worst but know I can survive it."

Read the complete story of how "The Current War" was resurrected.

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