“The Imitation Game,” the long simmering biopic of British mathematical genius Alan Turing, may finally have a star. According to Deadline, Benedict Cumberbatch is in talks to star as Turing. Morten Tyldum will direct Graham Moore’s screenplay.
Turing was one of the mathematicians who worked during World War II to crack the secret codes used by the Nazis. Despite his patriotic work, Turing was arrested after the war for being involved in homosexual activity and given the choice of prison or chemical castration, chose the latter. This led to depression and his eventual suicide. So yeah, it’s a sad, compelling story, and clearly awards season material.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company originally bought the script with plans for the actor to star in it, but he moved on to other projects (most notably the adaptation of Erik Larsen’s “Devil in the White City,” which he got Moore to write). Now it appears that the busy Cumberbatch will snap up the prize role.
Cumberbatch, who stole the hearts of millions in the British series “Sherlock,” has been putting together a big screen career very quickly. He did the voice of Smaug in “The Hobbit” movies, and this summer will star as the villain in “Star Trek Into Darkness.” He’s been filming “The Fifth Estate,” where he plays WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (he should get an award just for being brave enough to don the “Assange Look”), and also has “Twelve Years a Slave” and “August: Osage County” coming out later this year. He’ll also be seen on HBO in “Parade’s End,” the miniseries adaptation of Ford Madox Ford’s novel. Benedict is busy.