Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game
In honour of the Queen’s pardoning of gay World War II hero Alan Turing, producers have tweeted the first picture from a new film about his life.
British star Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness) stars in The Imitation Game as the late mathematics genius.
Turing (1912 – 1954) has been described as the father of computing and artificial intelligence, whose work breaking Nazi codes helped end the war.
The still from the film shows Cumberbatch as Turing, standing next to what appears to be an early type of computer.
Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexuality and was given the choice of imprisonment or chemical castration. Turing chose the latter but a year later, at the age of 41, he committed suicide by eating a cyanide-laced apple.
The Imitation Game is based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. It also stars Keira Knightley and is set to be released in late 2014.
Producers have dismissed rumorus that film downplays his homosexuality.
Actor Matthew Goode, who appears in the film, told GQ that the movie is about “Turing’s life and how as a nation we celebrated him as being a hero by chemically castrating him because he was gay.”
Last week, Turing was granted a posthumous royal pardon by the Queen for his homosexuality conviction.
LGBT activist Peter Tatchell has suggested that Turing may have actually been poisoned by British intelligence agents who feared that he could be blackmailed by the Soviet Union.
“Although there is no evidence that Turing was murdered by state agents, the fact that this possibility has never been investigated is a major failing,” said Tatchell. “A new inquiry is long overdue, even if only to dispel any doubts about the true cause of his death.”