The Imitation Game

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The Imitation Game
Directed by Morten Tyldum
Produced by Nora Grossman
Ido Ostrowsky
Teddy Schwarzman
Peter Heslop
Screenplay by Graham Moore
Based on Alan Turing: The Enigma 
by Andrew Hodges
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch
Keira Knightley
Matthew Goode
Rory Kinnear
Allen Leech
Matthew Beard
Charles Dance
Mark Strong
Music by Clint Mansell
Cinematography Óscar Faura
Editing by William Goldenberg
Studio Black Bear Pictures
Bristol Automotive[1]
Distributed by The Weinstein Company
(United States)
Studio Canal
(United Kingdom)
Release dates 2014
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $15 million[2]

The Imitation Game is an upcoming historical drama film about British wartime cryptographer Alan Turing, a key figure in cracking Nazi Germany's Enigma code during World War II, who was later criminally prosecuted for his homosexuality.[3][4] It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing and is directed by Morten Tyldum with a screenplay by Graham Moore, based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges.[5][6][7] It will be distributed by The Weinstein Company in the United States and Studio Canal in the United Kingdom. FilmNation represents the rights to international territories outside the UK and US.[8] The film is set for release in 2014.[9][10]

The film's screenplay topped the annual Black List for best unproduced Hollywood scripts of 2011.[11] After a bidding process against five other studios, The Weinstein Company acquired the film for a record-breaking $7 million in February 2014, the highest ever amount paid for US distribution rights at the European Film Market.[12]




Before Benedict Cumberbatch joined the project, Warner Bros. bought the screenplay for a reported seven-figure sum because of Leonardo DiCaprio's interest in playing Turing.[18][19][20] In the end, DiCaprio didn't officially come on board and the rights of the script reverted to the screenwriter which was then picked up by Black Bear Pictures.[7] Various directors were attached during development including Ron Howard and David Yates.[21] On December 2012, it was announced that Headhunters director Morten Tyldum will lead the project, making the film his English-language directorial debut.[22]


Principal photography began on September 15, 2013 in England. Filming locations include Turing's former school, Sherborne and Bletchley Park where Turing and his colleagues worked during the war.[23] Other locations include towns in England; Nettlebed in Oxfordshire, and Chesham in Buckinghamshire.[24] Scenes were also filmed at Bicester Airfield and outside the Law Society Building in Chancery Lane.[25] Principal photography finished on November 11, 2013 which coincided with Remembrance Day.[26][27]

Marketing and theatrical release[edit]

“ The only person who should be pardoning anybody is him (Turing). Hopefully, the film will bring to the fore what an extraordinary human being he was and how appalling (his treatment by the government was). It's a really shameful, disgraceful part of our history,”

Benedict Cumberbatch, on a USA Today interview when asked about Turing's Royal Pardon[28]

Following the Royal Pardon granted by the United Kingdom to Alan Turing on December 24, 2013, the filmmakers released the first official promotional photograph of Benedict Cumberbatch in character beside Turing's bombe machine on the same day.[1][29] The photo was taken by acclaimed photographer Jack English who also photographed Cumberbatch for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

According to a December 2013 article in the LA Times, the film will be released in late 2014.[10]


During production, several criticisms regarding the film's alleged downplaying and erasure of Alan Turing's homosexuality surfaced.[30] This was followed by the vocal disapproval, by Turing's surviving niece Inagh Payne, of the casting of Keira Knightley as Turing's close friend and one-time fiancee, Joan Clarke. Payne expressed the view that Knightley is too glamorous for the rather plain Clarke.[31] These accusations have been repeatedly dismissed by the film's producers in the official Twitter and Facebook accounts of the movie.[32][33] They also contacted Pink News to directly reject the criticisms.

“This on-going dialogue is greatly appreciated as it demonstrates the passion that exists for Turing’s achievements and the legacy of a man we intend to honour. There is not – and never has been – a version of our script where Alan Turing is anything other than homosexual, nor have we included fictitious sex scenes, and we have responded to any and every email and Twitter message to the contrary so as to quash these unsubstantiated rumours. We only wish this misinformation hadn’t arisen, and in the spirit of openness we intend to communicate all production updates regularly through our social media channels.”

—Producers of The Imitation Game, on straight-washing accusations[34]

In an interview for GQ UK, Matthew Goode who plays a fellow cryptographer of Turing in the film stated that the script focuses on "Turing's life and how as a nation we celebrated him as being a hero by chemically castrating him because he was gay."[35]


  1. ^ a b Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in First Look at 'The Imitation Game' (Photo) - TheWrap
  2. ^ a b Keira Knightley to Star Opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in 'Imitation Game' - The Hollywood Reporter
  3. ^ The Black List 2011: Screenplay Roster -
  4. ^ BBC News - Alan Turing: The codebreaker who saved 'millions of lives'
  5. ^ Hanks, E.A. (September 27, 2013). "How Benedict Cumberbatch And Alan Turing Helped A Writer Find Success In Hollywood". BuzzFeed. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ Tyldum Leaves TORDENSKIOLD Biopic Afloat. Instead, Will Decrypt THE IMITATION GAME. | Twitch
  7. ^ a b Warner Bros Sets Black List Top Scribe Graham Moore For 'Devil In The White City'; Leonardo DiCaprio To Play Serial Killer -
  8. ^ Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley begin shoot on The Imitation Game | News | Screen
  9. ^ | News |
  10. ^ a b Gay British codebreaker Alan Turing given royal pardon -
  11. ^ Hollywood's 'Black List' of best unproduced scripts of 2011 revealed | Film |
  12. ^ Harvey Weinstein Pays Record $7 Million For 'Imitation Game' Movie
  13. ^ Matthew Goode Joins Benedict Cumberbatch For Alan Turing Biopic -
  14. ^ Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley begin shoot on The Imitation Game | News | Screen
  15. ^ ‘Downton Abbey’ Actor Allen Leech Joins Cumberbatch in ‘Imitation Game’ | Variety
  16. ^ Mark Strong Joins THE IMITATION GAME, Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson Lead LEARNING TO DRIVE | Collider
  17. ^ Matthew Goode, Mark Strong and Rory Kinnear Join Cast of 'The Imitation Game' - The Hollywood Reporter
  18. ^ Benedict Cumberbatch In Talks To Play Alan Turing In 'The Imitation Game' -
  19. ^ ‘The Imitation Game’ Begins Filming With Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley | /Film
  20. ^ Warner Bros Buys Spec Script About Math Genius Alan Turing For Leonardo DiCaprio -
  21. ^ David Yates Develops 'Dr. Who,' As Warner Bros Tempts Him With 'Imitation Game' -
  22. ^ 'Headhunters' Helmer Morten Tyldum To Direct 'The Imitation Game' -
  23. ^ Twitter / blackbearpics: Very successful recce at
  24. ^ Wartime Spy Movie to be Filmed in Bicester – Oxfordshire
  25. ^ Sherlock’s on the trail of a new movie blockbuster (From The Oxford Times)
  26. ^ Twitter / tigmovie: That's a wrap!!!
  27. ^ Twitter / MrGrahamMoore: ... Ladies and gentlemen that's
  28. ^
  29. ^ Twitter / tigmovie: In honor of today's Royal Pardon
  30. ^ Comment: Hollywood should stay true to the real story of Alan Turing ·
  31. ^ Imitation Game filmmakers accused of romanticising the relationship between Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley's characters by Alan Turing's niece Inagh Payne
  32. ^
  33. ^ The Imitation Game (tigmovie) on Twitter
  34. ^ Producers of Alan Turing film reject criticism of project ·
  35. ^ Matthew Goode announced as new face of Hogan Shoes - GQ.COM (UK)

External links[edit]