In what will be a reunion of sorts of former Atonement co-stars, Keira Knightley is close to signing on to co-star in The Imitation Game, a film based on the life of ground-breaking mathematician and Enigma code-breaker Alan Turing. While Benedict Cumberbatch is all set to apply his on-screen brilliance to the role of Turing, Knightley is being touted for the part of Joan Clarke, Turing’s co-worker in Hut 8 at Bletchley Park and good friend to whom he proposed marriage in 1941. Adapted from the book Alan Turing: The Enigma, The Imitation Game will focus more on the ‘complicated relationship’ with the code-breaker as opposed to Turing’s work at Bletchley.
Noted for writing the first blueprint for modern computing, Turing led the team at Bletchley Park that has been credited with shortening World War II by as many as two years by cracking the Nazis’ Enigma code, regarded by the Germans as unbreakable. Because of the Official Secrets Act, it is only six decades after his death that Turing’s contribution is beginning to be fully acknowledged. His code-breaking did not become public knowledge until twenty years after his suicide. His parents and brother never knew of his secret war efforts during his lifetime.
With Cumberbatch’s penchant for playing intellectual yet somewhat tortured souls (i.e. Sherlock Holmes, Steven Hawking and, let’s not forget his brilliant portrayal of the Creature in Danny Boyle’s adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at the National Theatre) and after having recently watched the BBC-produced documentary one-off, Codebreakers: Bletchley Park and the recent PBS drama, Bletchley Circle, this low-budget indie will start with a competitive advantage beyond just the two leading stars and will be one that should be classified as a must-see.