Today, Alan Turing is considered the father of computer science. But the genius who broke Germany's Enigma code during World War II--saving countless lives as a result--was never publicly recognized for his achievements during his lifetime--or for many years after his death at age 41 in 1954. Rather he was persecuted for homosexual acts, which remained illegal under British laws that weren’t wiped from the books until 2003. Turing was granted a posthumous pardon in 2013.
In The Imitation Game, Benedict Cumberbatch plays a very eccentric Turing in a role that earned him an Oscar nomination for best actor. The film garnered eight nominations total, including including best picture, best director and best screenplay.
But for years, it looked doubtful that the film would ever even get made.
Our guests, director Morten Tyldum and writer and producer Graham Moore, may seem like an unlikely matchup on this project. The Imitation Game is Tyldum’s first film in English and former sitcom writer Moore’s first film period.
They tell Kim Masters about the film’s creation story, from how it grew out of a chance run-in at a cocktail party, to a “lost year” at Warner Bros, to a hungover casting conversation held via Skype. Throughout it all, they were determined to stay true to their vision of telling the story of a genius and a hero, a man who was unfairly persecuted, and whose achievements had been kept secret for far too long.