Early word from test screenings of The Imitation Game suggest that the Alan Turing code-breaking drama will offer one of Benedict Cumberbatch’s strongest performances to date. At the very least, it should erase memories of a certain other intel biopic - it rhymes with ‘the pith pestate’ – and bring cinematic redress to one of Britain’s most unfairly treated heroes. At best, the Oscars could be calling…
These exclusive stills from the new issue of Empire (on sale June 26) show Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a mathematician who turned wartime code-breaker and brought his skills to bear cracking the German Enigma code. Alongside him (left) is Charles Dance as Commander Alastair Denniston, a fellow decrypter, who helped Turing spearhead Britain’s efforts to break the Nazi code. Lurking, fittingly, in the shadows is Mark Strong who plays legendary MI6/SIS head Stewart Menzies
Sadly for fans of enormous whirling machines and people poring over scraps of paper, The Imitation Game is not a remake of Enigma. Instead, Norwegian director Morten Tyldum, the man behind ace blackly-comic thriller Headhunters, is focusing on the struggles of the man himself – specifically his sexuality and the social pressures that weighed so heavily on him.
“It is such a complex story,” explains Tyldum in the magazine. “It was the gay rights element, but also how his ideas were kept secret and how incredibly important his work was during the war, that he was never given credit for it.”
Tyldum’s pledge is to make the story “as multi-sided as possible”, and to help him do that he can also call on the talents of Keira Knightley, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech and Matthew Goode.
The Imitation Game is out on November 14. Pick up the August issue of Empire, on sale on Thursday, for more on the movie.