Alan Turing’s story is so tragic and yet inspiring on so many levels that it’s no surprise that the first trailer for the upcoming biopic The Imitation Game tugs at our heartstrings. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the prickly mathematician, enlisted to help crack the Nazis’ infamous Enigma code during World War II. To do so, they had to create an early prototype for the computer.
The movie looks to portray Turing as brilliant but arrogant, used to working alone. But to decipher the thousands of Enigma messages, he’ll need to rely on a team at Bletchley Park. Turing also wrestles with his closeted sexuality in a time when to be out was a crime punishable by imprisonment or (the route Turing eventually chose) chemical castration.
The film is not the only fictionalized account of Turing’s life. Earlier this year Tor.com posted the entirety of an original graphic novel by Jim Ottaviana and Leland Purvis also titled The Imitation Game, which is still available to read at the link.
Watch the trailer for the film:
Matthew Goode and Keira Knightley costar, he as chess champion Hugh Alexander and she as Turing’s friend and (briefly) fiancé Joan Clarke. Turing’s niece has actually challenged the film’s accuracy in how (she claims) it romanticizes Clarke and Turing’s relationship.
At any rate, there’s a lot of rich ground to cover, and it looks as if The Imitation Game will follow Turing throughout his entire life, until his untimely death in 1954. The film comes to theaters November 21.
Photo: Black Bear Pictures