Nicholas Hoult in talks to join the cast of 'The Current War'.

Nicholas Hoult

Nicholas Hoult

The 26-year-old actor is in negotiations to take on the role of Nikola Tesla in the upcoming historical drama, in which he will join cast members Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon.

The story is set in the late 1880s, and follows the battle between Thomas Edison (Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Shannon) to supply electricity, with Edison preferring direct current, and Westinghouse pushing alternating current.

Tesla will feature as he came to the United States in 1884 and briefly worked with Edison before the two parted ways.

He then sold several of his patents, including those to his alternating current machinery to Westinghouse.

Michael Mitnick wrote the script for the project, which was pulled out of the 2011 Black List of Hollywood's best unproduced screenplays.

The Weinstein Company are financing and distributing the project, and have reportedly been fans of Hoult since he starred in Tom Ford's directorial debut 'A Single Man'.

The company are reportedly are looking for other projects to feature the actor in.

A source familiar with the project told that director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon recently met with Hoult in London to discuss the project.

'The Current War' is one of two movies that centre around the feud between Edison and Westinghouse, as Black Bear Pictures is currently developing 'The Last Days of Night' which will star Eddie Redmayne as the lawyer caught in the middle of the patent battle that ensued following Edison's discovery of the electrical current.

The production is looking to start shooting in early December, though the movie does not yet have a release date.