Benedict Cumberbatch Is Gay WWII Codebreaker Alan Turing In First Trailer For ‘The Imitation Game’ – VIDEO

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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



  1. says

    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?

  2. EchtKultig says

    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.

  3. Marc says

    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!

  4. ratbastard says

    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.

  5. Turing's Ghost says

    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.

  6. wonderer says

    @EchtKultig “i don’t fancy her in that way””don’t tell anyone that is illegal”

  7. Daniel says

    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.

  8. james street james says

    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.

  9. james street james says

    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.

  10. says

    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.

  11. ben~andy says

    @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.

  12. slippy says

    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 …)

  13. RK says

    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.

  14. crispy says

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

  15. jarago says

    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”

  16. Wayne says

    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!!!

  17. leprechaunvict says

    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.

  18. Henry Holland says

    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.

  19. Greg says

    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.

  20. Robert says

    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.

  21. GregV says

    I’ll wait for the reviews. If they’ve straight-washed one of the most notable and important stories of a 20th-century gay person, I’ll be very offended and not at all interested in seeing this or giving it’s creators a cent.
    If they tell the story as it needs to be told, then it will be a must-see.

  22. Michael in Toronto says

    Please don’t say anything negative about my Cumberbatch – I love him to death!

  23. Marg says

    People who have read the script have all agreed that there is no straightwashing in this film.
    Black Bear Pictures have issued statement after statement saying they have remained faithful to Alan Turing’s life and work and his gayness is front and centre. It must also be remembered that it was illegal in those days to engage in homosexual acts so naturally people kept their activities and orientation secret. So he is not out and proud in the film.

    Benedict Cumberbatch has also said that Alan Turing was treated dreadfully and it is he who should be pardoning Britain not the other way around.

    Turing did become engaged to Joan but could not go through with the marriage. He opened up about being gay to her and they remained very good friends and colleagues.

    Turing’s arrest and subsequent punishment are dealt with in the film and in the UK trailer you see him being interviewed by the policeman who arrested him.

    There is no straightwashing and his life and work are treated with the utmost respect by the writers, the director and the actors.