Posted on Wednesday, October 12th, 2011 by Angie Han
Leonardo DiCaprio‘s J. Edgar has yet to hit theaters, but the star may already be looking at his next biopic. Warner Bros. has picked up first-time screenwriter Graham Moore‘s spec script The Imitation Game, about the life and times of math genius Alan Turing, for a seven-figure sum today, outbidding several other indie companies.
Although no stars or directors are actually attached at this time, the company is said to have picked up the script because DiCaprio is eyeing the lead role. (WB also recently bought rights to the novel Satori as a possible DiCaprio film.) Ron Howard, whose last foray into truth-based dramas about brilliant but tortured mathematicians won him Best Picture and Best Director, is reportedly interested in directing. More details after the jump.
Turing isn’t exactly a household name, but among certain circles, he’s a legend. The highly influential computer scientist, mathematician, cryptanalyst, and logician played a prominent role in Britain’s codebreaking center during World War II, and is considered one of the pioneers in the fields of computer science and artificial intelligence. You probably run into at least one of his most notable creations on a very regular basis — CAPTCHAs, those annoying distorted-word boxes that websites sometimes make you fill out to determine whether you’re a bot, are a variation of his famous Turing test to differentiate between machine and human intelligence.
In his private life, however, Turing was tormented by his homosexuality, which was illegal in England at the time. In 1952, Turing was criminally prosecuted for his homosexuality and was forced to undergo treatment with female hormones after he was criminally prosecuted. He committed suicide two years later at the age of 41 by consuming a cyanide-laced apple. (Steve Jobs is rumored to have named his company Apple in honor of the late icon.)
Moore’s script is based on Andrew Hodges‘ biography Alan Turing: The Enigma, to which first-time producers Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky own the rights. Moore, Grossman, and Ostrowsky have been working hard on the script for over a year, and it seems their efforts have paid off. Deadline writes that The Imitation Game script is already garnering buzz as one of the best in years, a “King’s Speech without the huge uplifting ending.” The material certainly sounds meaty, and with Howard and DiCaprio close to climbing on board, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this making the awards show rounds down the line.