Film producer Harvey Weinstein praises Benedict Cumberbatch’s ‘genius’ portrayal of Alan Turing

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American film producer Harvey Weinstein has praised Benedict Cumberbatch’s “genius” portrayal of Alan Turing in the upcoming biopic of the recently-pardoned codebreaker’s life.

‘The Imitation Game’ is the upcoming US film based on the biography of the wartime codebreaker and father of modern computing Alan Turing.

Weinstein, who recently bought the rights to the film earlier this month, said his decision was spurred by what he saw from a 20-minute compilation of scenes.

In an interview with Deadline, he said: “It was easier in that we all knew the script and could see the level of performance Morten Tyldum got in his first English language film. Alan Turing is not outwardly very sympathetic. He’s brilliant, but the way that Benedict Cumberbatch played him showed us these guys found the right level of vulnerability, genius and the arrogance of the character, too.”

He added: “We felt after reading the script that you could get this wrong, from the tone to the casting. The reason we didn’t make it ourselves was, it felt like a near impossible walk on a tightrope. Morten walked the tightrope. And Keira Knightley is so brilliant in Can A Song Save Your Life and she was helpful and loyal in pushing it our way that we wanted this huge run she is about to have to be with us.”

Last year, Turin’s biographer Andrew Hodges criticised the film’s script, saying it “invented” a relationship between Alan Turing and Joan Clarke which didn’t exist, consequently downplaying his life as a gay man.

Also writing for last year, 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.”

Producers later hit back at these criticisms, saying: “There is not – and never has been – a version of our script where Alan Turing is anything other than homosexual, nor have we included fictitious sex scenes.”