Alan Turing | Benedict Cumberbatch | News

First Look: Benedict Cumberbatch as Gay WWII Codebreaker Alan Turing in 'The Imitation Game'


Entertainment Weekly has posted the first stills from The Imitation Game, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as gay World War II codebreaker Alan Turing.

During World War II, Alan Turing, who is known as the father of modern computing, devised the Turing Bombe, a codebreaking device that was used to decipher the Nazi enigma codes, up to 3,000 messages per day. He was also gay, and two years after being convicted of "gross indecency" for being homosexual and sentenced to undergo hormone therapy, he killed himself with a cyanide-laced apple.

Also starring in the movie, which arrives in November, are Keira Knightly, Charles Dance, Matthew Goode, and Downton Abbey's Allen Leech.

EW has also posted some thoughts from Cumberbatch on the character.

One more shot, AFTER THE JUMP...


Feed This post's comment feed


  1. It's Allen Leech. He plays Tom Branson on Downton Abbey. And he's gorgeous.

    Posted by: crispy | Jun 6, 2014 9:21:04 AM

  2. "sentenced to undergo hormone therapy"

    He *chose* hormone therapy over a prison sentence after he got busted for telling police that the guy he was having sex with robbed him, homosexuality being illegal in the UK until 1967.

    "he killed himself with a cyanide-laced apple"

    Though it will never be known for sure, he likely died because he was a man with poor hygiene habits and got some chemicals he was using for an experiment on his hands, which he ingested when he ate an apple.

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Jun 6, 2014 10:05:25 AM

  3. I loath the fact that this movie that seeks to capitalize on Alan Turing's story, they portray him as interested in women and completely wipe out the important aspect which was his sexuality that was a cause of so much pain in his life. If you are gonna make a film about Alan Turing then you tell the story about Alan Turing and not just capitalize on the bits you want to legitimize and subsequently sell an alternate version of this man's life.

    Posted by: westy | Jun 6, 2014 10:26:35 AM

  4. With all due respect to Turing, this is like Sherlock comes out and time travels. Massive geek boner!

    Posted by: John | Jun 6, 2014 10:28:58 AM

  5. "completely wipe out the important aspect which was his sexuality "

    *citation needed

    Posted by: crispy | Jun 6, 2014 10:30:57 AM

  6. @CRISPY

    Alan Turing's Biographer has criticised the film for "exaggerating his love affair with a woman"

    "The producer, Teddy Schwarzman said the film was a drama, not a piece of entertainment and added while they do not want to fabricate events, there are some “creative liberties”."


    Posted by: westy | Jun 6, 2014 10:36:29 AM

  7. Turing was gay, but in this film his primary love interest is a woman. "Creative liberties" my ass. A travesty.

    Posted by: keating | Jun 6, 2014 10:39:55 AM

  8. "Exaggerating his love affair with a woman" is a far cry from "completely wiping out" his homosexuality. The same story you link to says he can't marry her because he has a relationship with a male character.

    But thanks for playing.

    Posted by: crispy | Jun 6, 2014 10:53:32 AM

  9. Interesting that there is so much conflict and confusion over Turing's life and sexuality. Why can't anyone get it right, once and for all?

    Posted by: Jack M | Jun 6, 2014 11:02:00 AM

  10. Jack M, it's because the media narrative is written by straight white males and they don't want to imagine that their heroes were gay.

    Posted by: Joseph | Jun 6, 2014 11:20:12 AM

  11. We can't have England's great WWII Hero turn out to be a gay man can we? We've got to take some "creative liberties" and make him more acceptable to hetero audiences.

    Posted by: Danny | Jun 6, 2014 11:30:10 AM

  12. If you want a true account read Andrew Hodges, ALAN TURING: The Enigma. One of my fav books.

    Movies almost always "straighten up" a gay character, less so now than when Midnight Express was made, in which the gay character was portrayed as straight and oddly enough played by a gay actor.

    Posted by: james street james | Jun 6, 2014 1:20:04 PM

  13. Mr. Cumberbatch hardly resamples Turing. Classic Hollywood.

    Posted by: Alain | Jun 6, 2014 1:27:42 PM

  14. @Henry Holland : apparently Turing often ate part of an apple before going to sleep, so the location of the apple is not that surprising. While it is known that he died due to cyanide poisoning, apparently nobody bothered to test the apple. Apparently the autopsy results were a better match for inhalation of cyanide fumes that for ingestion.

    Regardless, most web sites repeat the "apple" story, even after comments get posted indicating that the "apple" story is simply a guess.

    Posted by: Bill | Jun 6, 2014 8:32:25 PM

  15. The same thing happened to Leonardo da Vinci in 'Da Vinci' s Demons' . Hollywood loves to degay gay historical figures. I'm surprised no one pissed about this.

    Posted by: Matziabb | Jun 6, 2014 9:14:24 PM

  16. I'm extremely surprised that any even semi-serious film in 2014 would straightwash anyone. I think I'll hope for the best withhold judgment until it's out.

    Posted by: emjayay | Jun 7, 2014 4:26:13 PM

  17. Yeah, it was probably accidental (it was a nearly a year after the whole hormone treatment thing had ended, even. And apparently he was using cyanide compounds to metal plate objects for a project or something - which would back the inhalation suggests that have been made since his death.

    But apparently the poison apple was suggested by the M.E. that did the autopsy and strengthened by biographers claiming Snow White was his favorite fairy tale and that he apparently love the Disney Snow White scene of the apple being poisoned.

    Posted by: Fenny | Jun 9, 2014 11:55:48 AM

Post a comment


« «Stephen Colbert Suggests We Butch Up Hurricane Season: VIDEO« «