The ground-breaking English mathematician, logician, and World WarII Enigma-code-breaking Alan Turing, will be played by Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darknesss, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), in the biopic Imitation Game. Keira Knightley is in talks join her Atonement co-star, and would play his fiance and co-worker, Joan Clarke.
In 1954, Alan Turing, a man who helped bring down the Nazi’s, and end the war in Europe an estimated two years early, committed a serious crime. He was accused of having a relationship with another man. Turing was tried, found guilty, and given the choice of prison or chemical castration. Turing chose to be submitted to a chemical castration treatment program rather than go to prison, and he was barred from ever being allowed to work for the British government again. The experience was so demoralizing he committed suicide two years later by ingesting an apple laced with cyanide.
Alan Turing is considered by many to be the father of computer science. Deadline reports that Steve Jobs named his computer company Apple, in memory and gratitude to Alan Turing.
Imitation Game is being helmed by indie director, Morten Tydlum (Headhunters), with a 2011 Black List script by Graham Moore (his first spec script). It’s based on the biography by Andrew Hodges, Alan Turing: The Enigma. It was originally being considered by Ron Howard, with Leonardo DiCaprio in the role of Turing, but they decided against the project.
Keira Knightley plays the part of Joan Clarke, a co-worker, a brilliant mathematician, and cryptanalyst. She had become engaged to Turing while they were working together on the Enigma project, but Turing couldn’t go through with the marriage and confessed to Clarke that he was homosexual. She remained by his side, a close friend until his death.
In 2009, under the pressure of an international petition, the British government issued a posthumous apology to Alan Turing and his family. Because of the Officials Secret Act, his code-breaking did not become public knowledge for another twenty years. His family never knew of his secret war efforts, or heroism, during his lifetime.
Teddy Schwarzman of Black Bear Pictures will finance and produce the film with Nora Gorssman and Ido Ostorwsky of Ampersand Pictures.