Filming begins on Alan Turing biopic with Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightley

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The Imitation Game, a biopic about gay World War II codebreaker Alan Turing which stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, began principal photography in the UK this week.

The film features Star Trek: Into Darkness star Cumberbatch as Turing, and Knightley, known for the Pirates of the Caribbean series, as his friend, and fellow codebreaker Joan Clarke. The first images of Cumberbatch as the computer genius were also released this week.

Turing, who was persecuted by the UK Government over his sexuality, played a key role in Britain’s war effort against Nazi Germany. Forced to undergo chemical castration he committed suicide in 1954.

The Imitation Game will be directed by Morten Tyldum and produced in association with Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky of Amersand Pictures.

The film also stars Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance, Allen Leech and Matthew Beard.

Writing for last month, Julia Turing, a US scientist and keen follower of Turning’s work claimed she had contacted Black Bear Entertainment over concerns that Turing’s life was being re-written “by adding fictitious scenes in the movie script that never happened.”

The producers of a biopic on the life of gay scientist Alan Turing in August hit back at criticism of the project. Black Bear Pictures say they are working closely with members of the Turing family in order to make The Imitation Game as accurate as possible.

The Imitation Game was in June criticised by Turing’s biographer for downplaying the computer genius’s gay identity, exaggerating instead his love affair with a woman.

In May, a private member’s bill was introduced in the House of Lords, seeking to pardon Turing, who was prosecuted for “gross indecency” in 1952 after having a relationship with another man.

A New Alan Turing sculpture was also unveiled in London to commemorate the computer genius’s legacy.