Warner Bros.

By  · Published on October 12th, 2011

Warner Bros. Picks Up Alan Turing Biopic Script, Leonardo DiCaprio to Play the ‘Father of Computer Science’?

How Leonardo DiCaprio even has time to develop an outside interest in potential new projects is beyond me, what with his upcoming turn in J. Edgar, his new role in Django Unchained, and his apparent interest in starring in a Satori adaptation (and that’s just a quick list of the actor’s most recent attachments). But DiCaprio has apparently found a minute or two in his schedule to chase a project about math genius Alan Turing.

Warner Bros. has picked up the rights to Graham Moore’s The Imitation Game, a spec script the first-time scribe has written about Turing (with a huge influence from Andrew Hodges’ “definitive” biography of Turing, Alan Turing: The Enigma). The script reportedly covers much of Turing’s life, and is described as “the life story of this English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, computer scientist, criminally prosecuted homosexual, and tortured soul who committed suicide by eating a cyanide-laced apple has it all.” So, I guess we know how it ends?

Despite a tragic personal life, Turing’s work was absolutely seminal, with his Turing machine serving as a precursor to the modern computer, so much so that Turing is considered to be the “father of computer science and artificial intelligence” (thanks, Wikipedia!). Turing also worked as a codebreaker during WWII, where most of his work consisted of breaking German ciphers and finding settings for the Germans’ Enigma machines. And that note about being a “criminally prosecuted homosexual”? That prosecution led to a treatment that’s essentially chemical castration, a sentence of its own kind that Turing accepted rather than go to prison. Turing’s story has enough cinematic spark to fill an epic film and then some.

Warner Bros. outbid a number of smaller studios because DiCaprio is reportedly interested in playing Turing and “has the inside track” to do so. Not enough star power for you? Ron Howard may also want to direct the project. [Deadline Wilmslow]

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