Alan Turing | Benedict Cumberbatch | Film and TV

Benedict Cumberbatch Is Gay WWII Codebreaker Alan Turing In First Trailer For 'The Imitation Game' - VIDEO

Screenshot 2014-07-21 13.52.02

The first trailer for The Imitation Game, a historical drama focusing on Alan Turing, has dropped. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing and Game of Thrones’s Charles Dance as Alastair Denniston, the film follows the story of Turing’s recruitment into Britain’s Government Code and Cypher School during WWII to decrypt Nazi communicae. Often thought of as the “father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence,” Turing was responsible for many of the early examples of computer science, designing the Turing Machine, Automatic Computing Engine, and developing the very concept of the algorithm.

Turing, a gay man, was charged under England’s 20th century indecency laws after openly acknowledging his ongoing relationship with Arnold Murray. An early version of a screenplay for The Imitation Game came under fire from Turing biographer Andrew Hodge, whose Turing biography serves as the basis for much of The Imitation Game’s plot.

Hodges felt as if the film was in danger of downplaying Turing’s homosexuality and emphasizing his relationship with Joan Clarke. Clarke, portrayed in the film by Keira Knightley, was briefly engaged to Turing before Turing is said to have come out to her. Their relationship, says Hodges, worked “because he could talk to her as if she were really another man,” not because of any sort of genuine romantic interest. The trailer seems to make mention of Turing’s inability to feel for Clarke romantically but that may be the film’s sole mention of their relationship in those terms.

Watch the trailer for The Imitation Game AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. I don't get the fascination with Cumberpatch. He's not at all attractive - IMO - and I haven't seen any spectacular performances out of him.

    But boy, there sure are a lot of folks that love him.

    Clue me in. What's his appeal?

    Posted by: MikeInSanJose | Jul 21, 2014 2:24:41 PM

  2. So, basically this is straight washed in two ways: not using an openly gay actor, and not acknowledging that the subject was gay. Yes...sign me up...can't wait to see it. Up next: biopic of Rosa Parks played by a white woman, and claiming she was actually white.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Jul 21, 2014 2:50:57 PM

  3. I am so glad this film has been made. People need to know a gay man was responsible for changing the course of history. That's the part that's often "conveniently" left out of schools. We need to share our stories. Visibility is important. And this looks great!

    Posted by: Marc | Jul 21, 2014 2:55:27 PM

  4. Turning was a victim of the widespread homophobia in intelligence agencies following the high proportion of homosexual double agents and scientist working for the Soviets. Shsmeful so many other 'connected' people at that time and since then were given a pass, while he was persecuted. Yes, I said persecuted, not prosecuted.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 21, 2014 3:08:15 PM

  5. I'll hold judgement until I see the film but early reports indicate, sadly, the story was "gay washed". FYI, I was born on the day Alan Turing died and his work has an indelible mark on my career.

    Posted by: Turing's Ghost | Jul 21, 2014 3:22:50 PM

  6. @EchtKultig "i don't fancy her in that way""don't tell anyone that is illegal"

    Posted by: wonderer | Jul 21, 2014 3:23:12 PM

  7. I saw the first screening here in New York, but agreed to not talk about it. However, I can tell you that I and husband put in our two cents.

    Posted by: Daniel | Jul 21, 2014 3:36:05 PM

  8. Unless Andrew Hodges changed his name he should be referred to as "Hodges" not "Hodge." Of course it could be an endearing pet name for use by his familiars, but should it be used here?

    BTW, there is an Andrew Hodge, or two, but the expert on Turing is Andrew Hodges.

    Posted by: james street james | Jul 21, 2014 3:44:09 PM

  9. Apparently there is only one actor in Britain.

    Posted by: AdamK | Jul 21, 2014 3:52:49 PM

  10. I just watched the trailer, and I doubt that I will watch the film.

    The real story of Turing's life would have been interesting. The whole concept of "ex-gay" really does not belong in the movies.
    They ruined "Midnight Express" in a similar way. It kind of feels like some Orwellian movie world where history is rewritten to make homosexuality disappear.

    Posted by: james street james | Jul 21, 2014 3:59:26 PM

  11. Britain should be ashamed. A national holiday in honor of Alan Turing should be declared and every school child should be taught that discrimination against gay people is to never be allowed again. Ever.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Jul 21, 2014 4:06:27 PM

  12. @Mike in SJ [my hometown], as for why he's popular, all I can say is I absolutely remember the very first time I saw him in something. It was "The Last Enemy" in 2008-9 on Masterpiece Classic.

    He has an intense "stillness" of face. He's got a "big" face, but he doesn't give it all away. There are hints and tips and signs of what is inside, but you have to listen to what his characters say and watch what they do to fully understand who they are.

    I find it to be more like what I have to do with real people and I enjoy doing it with the ones he selects to show to us.

    Posted by: ben~andy | Jul 21, 2014 4:17:43 PM

  13. Then don't look at Benedict if you don't get the appeal.Just LISTEN to his voice and melt away ( Keats -Ode To A Nightingale ...)

    Posted by: slippy | Jul 21, 2014 4:51:34 PM

  14. If it is "gay washed", then we need to have our voices heard when this movie comes out. The producers and the studio should not be allowed to get away with this homophobia.

    Posted by: RK | Jul 21, 2014 4:55:28 PM

  15. Cumberbatch is popular because a bunch of shut-in cat ladies got their panties moist watching Sherlock on BBC.

    Posted by: crispy | Jul 21, 2014 4:58:23 PM

  16. The trailer is aimed at general audiences and they are selling as classy period drama- not as gay romance- it sort of remind me of "A Brilliant Mind"- there are hints of Turing's homosexuality in the trailer but obviously this Oscar bait production is not "Brokeback Code Breaker"

    Posted by: jarago | Jul 21, 2014 5:29:36 PM

  17. I'm so excited to see this film… Cumberbatch is so incredibly talented. Anytime actors/directors (gay or straight) are willing to tell our stories, it makes me so proud. Visibility is everything to changing our status in this world. I applaud the vision & dedication of the thousands of people, mostly straight, who work on projects like these. They choose to tell our stories… why all the hate?

    So excited!!!

    Posted by: Wayne | Jul 21, 2014 5:38:28 PM

  18. Well he's fantastic in Sherlock and was great even in his relatively small roll in Tinker Tailor Solier Spy (still haven't got around to seeing the last Star Trek). I'm willing to go see this. I hope it's not as straight-washed as it looks it may be, but this is a general interest first trailer so we'll see.

    Posted by: leprechaunvict | Jul 21, 2014 6:04:15 PM

  19. This story has already been told, and Turing was played by an openly gay actor, Derek Jacobi.

    I've seen a criticism elsewhere that they won't cover his arrest. I've not seen the movie or the script, but Turing was arrested in 1952, if the movie is based on what happened with Turing at Bletchley Park (which ended with the Allied victory), why would they bring that up?

    This is a must-see for me, I've been interested in Turing since I read Andrew Hodges book in the early 90's.

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Jul 21, 2014 6:17:45 PM

  20. Keira Knightly and Benedict Cumberbatch sitting in a tree,
    getting all soul-matey,

    Posted by: Glenn I | Jul 21, 2014 7:29:10 PM

  21. I am so tired of seeing replies that claim historical gay men must be played by out gay men. Why? This is acting. If we go down this lovely road, then no gay actor can ever play straight because the straights will think only straight men can play straight men. Oh wait, many already do and now their equally myopic and bigoted counterparts think only gays should play gay.

    Posted by: Greg | Jul 21, 2014 7:45:02 PM

  22. Tumblr has completely turned me off from banana cucumberpatch.

    Posted by: Derrick | Jul 21, 2014 8:16:27 PM

  23. This looks like a British version of "A Beautiful Mind".

    Posted by: anon | Jul 21, 2014 10:39:53 PM

  24. Okay, I'm intrigued. I want to see this

    Posted by: MickyFlip | Jul 21, 2014 11:14:53 PM

  25. Benedick's appeal is that he's a superb actor with a magnificent, classically trained voice. The first thing I saw him in-- a very small role in Atonement-- I couldn't take my eyes off him. I also think he's very sexy. His Sherlock is astonishing.

    I am dying to see this film and I saw no "gay wishing" in the trailer-- it's very clear he's gay from the short pieces of dialogue.

    As for this idea that only a gay actor should play a gay man--how very offensive. What has the long fight for equality been all about? We should treat straight people with the same amount of respect with which we ask them to treat us. That means recognizing that gay people can play straight people (NPH as a womanizer on How I Met Your Mother-- are you offended by that??) and being excited about seeing Benedick, a great actor, playing the great Alan Turing.

    Posted by: Robert | Jul 22, 2014 3:14:03 AM

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