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Benedict Cumberbatch to Depress Audience Members In Alan Turing Biopic?

Fellow history nerds, rejoice. A biopic of World War II codebreaker extraordinaire/tragic life story subject Alan Turing has been in the works for a year or two. A script for the movie, called The Imitation Game, was put on the Black List (a list of scripts that industry folks are talking about but that haven’t been picked up yet) back in 2011, and last December the film got a director in the form of Morten Tyldum. And now Deadline is reporting that it’s close to having a star, too: Benedict Cumberbatch.

Cumberbatch, could you stop picking up new projects already? First it was Star Trek Into Darkness and The Hobbit, and now it’s the WikiLeaks movie, 12 Years a Slave, that weird-sounding Monty Python movie, August: Osage County, and a rumored Brian Epstein biopic. We’re never going to get season three of Sherlock at this rate.

The actor is reportedly in “deep conversations” to play Turing, who was instrumental in breaking the Nazi’s Enigma Code and was thanked by the British government with a conviction for homosexuality in the early 1950s. Given the choice between jail time and a hormonal treatment colloquially known as “chemical castration,” Turing chose the latter. After a year he committed suicide by eating a cyanide-laced apple.

Sherlock griping aside, I’m seriously looking forward to this, though less for Cumberbatch and more for general history nerdery and Tyldum. He directed the excellent Norwegian crime thriller Headhunters, which was one of my top five movies of 2012, easy. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan I recommend you watch it, as it has Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) playing this really awesome bad guy, and… OK, sorry. Got distracted. But it’s great, you should watch it. Hopefully The Imitation Game will be great, albeit horribly depressing, too.

(via: Deadline)

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  • babylove0306

    What do you mean, less for Cumberbatch?

  • jewelmcjem

    I would assume because it’s a story that needs telling whether or not Cumberbatch takes it.

  • R.O.U.S.

    It’s hard to be taken seriously when you say a man you find extremely attractive is also an amazing actor. But damn, Ben would own this role.

  • Ladies Making Comics

    But he doesn’t even look like Turing :/ I’ve always wanted to see Robert Sean Leonard play Turing, just get him a good dialogue coach.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    The Cumberbatch casting is cool, but it’s the fact of a Turing biopic in general that has me really excited.

  • Rachel Aparicio

    This may sound strange, but especially given the title of the film, I hope (though also doubt) they get “the imitation game” correct. (Or at the very least explore the intellectual debate over it) It references Turing’s famous proposal that one of the ways to test A.I. is to play an imitation game which most (male) scholars, particularly in the computer science world, have understood to be a game where a computer tries to pass as a human. But actually in Turing’s paper (“Computing Machinery and Intelligence”) he arguably proposes, in fact, that the computer try to imitate a particular GENDER, and not humanness per se. Clive Thomson has a great short piece on this at Wired which explains why this method is potentially more scientifically sound, and also incidentally its resonance with Turing’s personal life (ie. his attempt to pass a gender normative (read straight) in order to be perceived as intelligent)

  • totalrec

    Mega excited about this. great script, even greater actor and a fine up and coming director.

  • Mark Brown

    “The actor is reportedly in “deep conversations” to play Turing”

    . . . In conversation with who-or-what? ;)

  • Laura Truxillo

    Really, all of his conversations are deep. Deep, resonating, baritone..

  • Angi Dudas

    Ben is know for taking projects that break your heart. Hawking, Third Star, Frankenstein and of course Sherlock. He is so talented, that I am willing to watch his work with tears streaming down my face. It helps that he is beautiful too ;)

  • Kathleen Cummings

    I agree…RSL bears an errie resemblance to Turing…and he more than had the acting chops for it.