Warner Bros. Buys Spec Script THE IMITATION GAME; Leonardo DiCaprio Up to Play Mathematician Alan Turing, Ron Howard May Direct

     October 11, 2011

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Warner Bros. bought Graham Moore’s spec script The Imitation Game in a 7-figure deal today.  The buzz is reportedly great on Moore’s debut script about the life of British mathematician/computer scientist Alan Turing, though that is not necessarily why the studio outbid several independent companies for the rights.  Rather it is because Leonardo DiCaprio is very interested in the project and has “the inside track” to star.  Moreover, Ron Howard—who won the Oscar when he directed the math biopic A Beautiful Mind—is reportedly interested in the directing.  No talent is officially attached yet.

Turing’s life is absurdly suited for the cinematic ups and downs of a biopic.  Credited as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, Turing was integral in the development of the modern computer, and a key codebreaker for the British during World War II.  And the downs: Turing was criminally prosecuted for his homosexuality, elected chemical castration over prison, and finally ended his tormented life with a cyanide apple.  More after the jump.

According to Deadline, first-time producers Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky own the rights Andrew Hodges’ biography Alan Turing: The Enigma and worked with Moore to fine-tune the script.  Here’s the synopsis:

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Alan Turing (1912-54) was a British mathematician who made history. His breaking of the German U-boat Enigma cipher in World War II ensured Allied-American control of the Atlantic. But Turing’s vision went far beyond the desperate wartime struggle. Already in the 1930s he had defined the concept of the universal machine, which underpins the computer revolution. In 1945 he was a pioneer of electronic computer design. But Turing’s true goal was the scientific understanding of the mind, brought out in the drama and wit of the famous “Turing test” for machine intelligence and in his prophecy for the twenty-first century.

Drawn in to the cockpit of world events and the forefront of technological innovation, Alan Turing was also an innocent and unpretentious gay man trying to live in a society that criminalized him. In 1952 he revealed his homosexuality and was forced to participate in a humiliating treatment program, and was ever after regarded as a security risk. His suicide in 1954 remains one of the many enigmas in an astonishing life story. [Amazon]

If you’re not sold yet, some say Steve Jobs named his company Apple as a tribute to Turing.  You, the internet, love Steve Jobs!  And all he ever did or may have done.

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