Warner Bros. have abandoned pre-production on a new Alan Turing biopic.
The film, which has the working title The Imitation Game, was set to star Leonardo DiCaprio as Turing, the British cryptographer who broke the Enigma codes which led to Britain’s victory in World War II.
Despite this, Turing was later famously prosecuted for being gay, which eventually led to his supposed suicide.
The studio bought the film for seven-figure sum last autumn, but without DiCaprio’s star power, the film has become a less likely effort for the studio, and is seeking a new home.
Earlier in 2012 however, Professor Jack Copeland put forward the possibility that Turing, who would have been 100 this year, may not have committed suicide after all; not, at least, on the evidence that was presented at the 1954 inquest.
Professor Copeland said that he believed the evidence would not today be accepted as sufficient to establish a suicide verdict. It’s generally believed that Turing ate an apple poisoned with cyanide in distress over the enforced hormone treatment he was forced to take to curb his sexual urges.
Prof Copeland, while generally believing Turing’s death to have been accidental, added that the investigation was conducted so badly that even murder was a possibility.
In 2009, after a campaign led by Richard Dawkins, Stephen Fry, Peter Tatchell and supported by PinkNews.co.uk, the then prime minister Gordon Brown issue an apology for Turing’s treatment on behalf of the British government.
Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of the LGF added: “Alan Turing made a monumental contribution to the freedom that every single one of us enjoys in the UK today. What makes Turing’s legacy so tragic is that in the final months and years of his life, many of his own freedoms were denied to him.
“He was punished because of his sexuality and had to make the humiliating choice between imprisonment or chemical castration. This ultimately led to him taking his own life. Had Turing been alive today, he would have rightly been celebrated as a hero.
“The Homo Heroes Awards provide an opportunity to celebrate people, businesses and organisations in our everyday lives that have made a significant contribution.”
Turing’s story has never officially been told on the big screen. Enigma, a big-budget production released in 2001, told the story of British cryptographers at Bletchley Park with Dougray Scott playing a (heterosexual) character otherwise clearly based on Turing.
On the small screen, in 1996, Derek Jacobi played Turing in Breaking the Code. In November 2011, Channel 4 broadcast a docu-drama about Turing. Codebreaker starred Ed Stoppard.