First Look: Benedict Cumberbatch as Gay Codebreaker Alan Turing in ‘The Imitation Game’


In the wake of Alan Turing's royal pardon this week from the British government for his conviction for "gross indecency", Black Bear Pictures has released the first image of Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing in the forthcoming biopic The Imitation Game, The Wrap reports:

Cumberbatch stars as codebreaker and mathematician Turing, who was prosecuted for being homosexual and eventually committed suicide via cyanide poisoning.

Keira Knightley co-stars alongside Matthew Goode, Mark Strong and Charles Dance. Morten Tyldum (“Headhunters”) directed from Graham Moore’s script, which topped the 2011 Black List.

In addition to producers Teddy Schwarzman, Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky, the project boasts a top notch below-the-line team including Oscar-winning editor William Goldenberg (“Argo”), composer Clint Mansell (“Black Swan”), cinematographer Oscar Faura (“The Impossible”) and production designer Maria Djurkovic (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”).

Said Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, announcing the pardon: "Dr Alan Turing was an exceptional man with a brilliant mind. His brilliance was put into practice at Bletchley Park during the second world war, where he was pivotal to breaking the Enigma code, helping to end the war and save thousands of lives. His later life was overshadowed by his conviction for homosexual activity, a sentence we would now consider unjust and discriminatory and which has now been repealed. Dr Turing deserves to be remembered and recognised for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science. A pardon from the Queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man."


  1. Continuum says

    There is some question whether Turing really committed suicide. Some people believe that he was “suicided” by the British secret services because as a gay man he supposedly posed a security risk.

  2. FFS says

    This movie had better be good.

    I e-mailed the production company, a while back, and intimated that I’d hunt them all down, disembowel them and feed them their own intestines if it wasn’t. Hopefully, that lit a fire under them.

  3. Connor says

    A study I’d be interested to see in a few years is how many of the gay marriages that occurred within the first 3 to 6 months of it becoming legal in the different states have filed for divorce.

  4. Jack says

    Connor: Why, pray tell, are you so interested in such a statistic? Are you looking to compare that against the divorce rates for interracial marriages that occurred once miscegenation laws were struck down? Or is it that you just want to feel good about yourself and your own personal, thoughtful decisions?

  5. Bill says

    @ Continuum: one of the reasons that there is some question as to whether Turing died accidentally or not was that the apple by his bed was never tested for cyanide, and it was not unusual for him to have an apple before going to sleep, often not eating a full one.

    The coroner may have simply assumed that it was a suicide given the evidence of cyanide poisoning and ignored the possibility of an accident due to Turing’s use of potassium cyanide for electroplating.

  6. kodiak says

    How about pardoning the thousands of others that shared in being humiliated and tortured by the state? Pardoned? For what? Being a gay man? Go pardon yourself, Miss England.