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Former sitcom writer and novelist Graham Moore and Norwegian director Morten Tyldum may seem like an unlikely pair to be behind The Imitation Game, a movie about a British mathematician in World War II. They were brought together by an independent producer who snatched up the script after it languished at a studio for a year. Now, their indie about Alan Turing is up for eight Academy Awards, including best picture, best director and best screenplay.

Banner Image: Benedict Cumberbatch and Director Morten Tyldum on set of The Imitation Game; Credit: Jack English courtesy of Black Bear Pictures

Hollywood News Banter 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Kim Masters is joined by Michael Schneider, Executive Editor of TV Guide Magazine to discuss top entertainment news stories of the week.

- Jon Stewart announced his departure from The Daily Show, and he’s leaving Comedy Central with some very big shoes to fill.
- NBC has suspended Brian Williams for six months. A return after that kind of break doesn’t look promising.
- Sony’s Spider-Man will be swinging over to the Marvel universe in a new partnership that’s pushing back the release dates of other superhero movies. Former Sony chairwoman Amy Pascal will be a producer on the new Spider-Man project.
- Fifty Shades of Grey will have a huge opening over Valentine’s Day Weekend. The stars of the film are signed on for two more movies, but it’s unlikely that director Sam Taylor-Johnson will stick around after fighting with author EL James, who was given an unprecedented level of control on set.

Michael Schneider, Indiewire / Variety (@Franklinavenue)

‘The Imitation Game’ 21 MIN, 5 SEC

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.

Morten Tyldum, director, 'The Imitation Game' (@mortentyldum)
Graham Moore, writer and producer, 'The Imitation Game' (@MrGrahamMoore)

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