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Alan Turing’s biographer criticises upcoming biopic for downplaying gay identity

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  1. If they really downplayed his homosexuality it’s like killing him again.

    1. Bet he turns out to be American too.

  2. Not the first time that elements in the US have re-written history to suit their agenda.

    Boycott and damn Cumberbatch and Knightley for agreeing to participate in a disgusting whitewash.

    1. Christopher in Canada 24 Jun 2013, 6:25pm

      I agree. the film “Argo” is pure fiction, making it appear as if the US did all the planning and set Canada up to take the credit for the Iran Hostages in 1979/80. Even Jimmy Carter has dismissed the movie.

      After losing Korea, Vietnam and Iraq, the US needs to prop itself up any way it can. Sad.

    2. Ridiculous! You shouldn’t blame two actors, for just doing their jobs! For gods sake, did you ever think they might have said yes before seeing the official final script? That’s how it works. If anything, Cumberbatch should be praised for taking the role, whether you like it or not, it is perfect casting. Sorry, but when it comes to cinema and people taking roles, i will get passionate and pissed off!

      1. When it comes to straight-washing one of Britain’s most unsung heroes, when it comes to perpetuating and endorsing the very behaviour that led to his demise by insidiously subverting who he was for the comfort and convenient of straight people, I bloody guarantee you that I will be far more pissed off than you over some poxy bloody film.

        So screw your “perfect casting” and try having some bloody principles. Everyone, but everyone, should be outraged by the re-writing of history this way without even considering who Alan Turing was and why it is being concealed.

        1. I largely agree with your sentiments. But there was nothing unprincipled in what Naomi wrote.

          1. Thank you for defending that i do have principles, even if you don’t agree with them :)

        2. I have principles, i believe you shouldn’t condemn someone for doing their job! And with the whole ‘some bloody poxy film’, cinema isn’t trivial, it’s art. I’m a film student, with an A Level in critical thinking, don’t piss me off about films, i will argue you down to the ground! Just because my principles aren’t the same as yours, doesn’t mean they’re not there

          1. Frank Boulton 1 Jul 2013, 4:29pm

            Go get yourself A levels in History and Ethics.

          2. Julia M. Turing 6 Jul 2013, 8:32pm

            ‘A level in critical thinking’ means nothing when it comes to explaining the reasons for distorting history and an outstanding historical figure as Alan was, just to make money on a movie full of distorted, untrue story lines. I fail to see ‘A level critical thinking’ in lies! Your assertion as a critical thinker in the case of this movie is simply: ILLOGICAL!!

      2. “Perfect casting” – why so? Do you think there is an outstanding resemblance between Cumberbatch and Turing or something? Perhaps you think the skeletal face-of-Dior Knightley is “perfect casting” for a codebreaker too?

        1. I don’t think the Knightly casting is good at all, but Cumberbatch does have a facial resemblance.

          1. !!! Turing appears to have had a squareish face with sticking-out ears and fairly thin lips; Cumberbatch has a long, thin and rather horsey face – there isn’t the slightest resemblance!

  3. This is not a film about Alan Turing and must not be sold as such. It must be sold as a fiction (be it somewhat related). I cannot believe they’ve done this. Benedict Cumberpatch has gone down in my books thanks to this. It feels like they’ve exploited his life and legacy to sell some Hollywood director’s ‘creative liberty’. It’s just upsetting.

  4. Robert in S. Kensington 24 Jun 2013, 3:39pm

    Why the need for an American producer? You know its going to be doctored and the facts played down to suit their audiences. Omitting important facets about Alan Turing’s life has absolutely nothing to do with creative liberties and more to do with denial. I also agree casting Keira Knightley is wrong and indicative of the problem American producers have when faced with the stark reality and distorting the truth of a situation. Disgusting in my view, anything to make a fast buck as they say over there which they are notorious for.

  5. I’m waiting for the Hollywood remake of The Naked Civil Servant, with Tom Cruise as Crisp and Catherine Zeta Jones as the American President’s daughter, who he rescues from terrorist kidnappers, ravishes passionately in an extended love scene and eventually marries before relocating to Utah, with his seventeen children, to become a Mormon Bishop fighting against Proposition 8.

    Opening line: This based on a true story.

    1. Don’t forget that upcoming biopic of David Hockney that focuses firmly on those voluptuous blonde girls in bikinis that are such a notable characteristic of his Pool Paintings.

      1. “This summer Chuck Norris IS David Hockney”
        Sample line “Hi girls, I’m from a little town called York-Shire, England”

    2. “I’m waiting for the Hollywood remake of The Naked Civil Servant, with Tom Cruise as Crisp”

      On current form, I’d guess they’d choose a straight male lead ;)

  6. Blimey, just when you think straightwashing is a thing of the past, an unwelcome reminder that it’s one step forward, two steps back as usual.

  7. Kelvin Beer-Jones 24 Jun 2013, 5:34pm

    Nothing new here, the Americans keep writing themselves into other peoples history. The only answer is British and European Cinema.

    1. I have to agree, over the last few years I hardly ever watch US tv or Films.

  8. Robert in S. Kensington 24 Jun 2013, 6:27pm

    Another comment by the producer that I find very patronizing …“When we come over, we are also going to get in touch with some other experts on that period. We know how very important Turing is to you over there.”

    The bloody ignorance of these people is breath-taking as well as condescending.

    1. DivusAntinous 24 Jun 2013, 10:44pm

      I reported this by mistake. But I totally agree. I mean, does he not understand what a huge contribution Turing made to helping not only Britain, but ALL of the allies, including the United States, defeat the Nazis? It seems he doesn’t appreciate how much we all owe to the man he is making a film about. And what’s this about him being “wimpish”? I never got that impression. There is no excuse for downplaying his supreme intelligence for the sake of making him seem a bit less gay. I don’t even understand that.

      When I heard that Cumberbatch was playing Turing I thought the film would be perfect, I guess I missed the fact that the Americans were making it. Sigh

  9. Hollywood dumbs down and rewrites history again. Of course any film with a Gay character is played down so as to not offend the religious bigots that run the USA.

  10. i hope they remember to write in the exciting and dramatic car chase sequence along the maginot line, escaping from the khmer rouge storm-troopers with turing at the wheel and churchill manning the ray guns… that way we’ll know for sure it’s another bucket of glittery-hollywood sh!t dressed as historical fact and avoid it like the plague.

  11. The original script is/was online and yeah there’s a plot with the Russian spy as the villain (and other historical inaccuracies) but there wasn’t a romance between Turing and Joan. Actually the central main theme seems to be the loss of his childhood love: a boy called Christopher.
    Spoilers: that original script is in three episodes, one is about the relationship between Turing and Christopher, another about Turing working in Bletchley Park (with Joan and the spy) and the third one with two policemen investigating and accosting Turing because his sexuality. In my opinion they should change some aspects of the last one: for example, the policemen are the center of the story, not Turing and I’d like to know more about the court proceedings. But it has a good dramatic interrogation that should be great in Cumberbatch’s hands.
    The storylines are interrelated and we “discover” Turing’s homosexuality in the middle of the script: the policemen finally understand the relationship between

    1. Turing and the thief (in the third episode) at the same time that Turing confess it to some of his friends (in the second one) but the relationship between the kids is suggestive since the beginning. Maybe the fact that until those scenes it exist the possibility of a true relationship with Joan (he’s engaged with her at this point but he doesn’t seems too happy about it) is the reason of the criticism. But I can’t see a real romantic relationship between them. At the end it’s clear that the only person who matters to him was the young Christopher.
      There aren’t sex scenes of any kind but Turing speaks freely and explicit about his relationship with the thief in the interrogation scene. In one scene he calls Joan from New York. They are engaged and she doesn’t know yet he’s gay but meanwhile they’re talking we see him visiting a gay bar in the city. Later he confess to her. The young Alan and Christopher have a sweet but not consummated romance. I sincerely don’t remember if there was

      1. a kiss between Joan and Alan but the physical contact isn’t relevant between them, he clearly is presented as someone unhappy with that “romance”.
        The early script is very smart and with a very original structure but it sacrifice some historical facts (like many historical movies). A lot of historians will be angry with that but in my humble opinion the real offense would be to change or “downplayed” Turing’s sexuality. I didn’t see that. At least not in that early script. Hodges talks about “built up” the relationship between Clarke and Turing but he didn’t say anything about neglect or ignore the homosexuality so I hope he’s talking about some detail easy to change by the producers. I read and hear some interviews with Cumberbatch in which he talked with passion about this movie and he talked about Turing’s homosexuality so I still have faith in this project.
        Sorry for the spasm and the awful English.

        1. julia M. Turing 6 Jul 2013, 8:08pm

          I hope any movie made about Alan Turing will not be turned into an x-rated sex film focusing on sexual fantasies or sexual scenes as this would be a horrible travesty by ignoring the great character of honesty, innocence of heart and rarity of so gifted a mind as Alan Turing was. His great contribution to mankind (a great story for a movie in just that!) as well as the horrible tragedy of his death by being tortured by the govt. of his own country he saved from total destruction by the Nazis in WWII. His tremendous athletic ability as a long distance runner would have made the 1952 Olympic team had he not come up with a foot injury. These inspiring events of Alan Turing should be focused on not sexual relationships.

  12. Again sorry for the spam.
    I just read the producers reaction to the article in Twitter:

    @blackbearpics We assure you there were almost no truths in this weekend’s article. We couldn’t imagine making a movie where Alan is straight.

  13. I’m sure the cinema going public would love to see acts of gross indecency committed in urinals , but hey George Michaels bio-pic may well be way in the future .Making convicted sex offender Turing into a latter-day homosexual martyr is a propaganda exercise .Who next – Jonathan King or James Rennie of lgbt youth fame ?

    1. I take it you advocate the suppression of “convicted sex offender” Oscar Wilde’s work then? Should we perhaps ignore the contribution to theatrical history of “convicted sex offender” Sir John Gielgud as well?

    2. I’m sure the cinema going public would like to see a movie in which the German U-boats had won the battle of the Atlantic and the Naz!s had won the war.
      Take “sex offender Turing” as you call him out of the equation and that would’ve been the logical outcome.
      But then you appear to have at least part of an ideology in common with the Naz!s.

  14. BOO! to Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley and to the whole worthless project.

  15. MAYBE we should wait and see the film before judging it? Criticism is rather harsh when we don’t know the specifics yet.

    1. But I would rather not give a film my tacit support by paying for a ticket if, as is reported, there’s some serious revisionism going on in it.

  16. WTF? Turing would turn in his grave

    1. julia M Turing 2 Jul 2013, 6:39pm

      If you knew anything at all about Alan Turing you wouldn’t make such an uninformed statement referencing his grave since he never was buried.

  17. Typical of a US film – if you watch Ben Affleck’s Argo, you might think the new Zealand Embassy was unhelpful but in reality their people were the real heroes, risking their lives to provide cover for the “rescue” mission. War movie recreations have had US heroes where there were no US soldiers involved at all. Any US film about UK history should be viewed with a kg or two of salt.

  18. I just wanted to say that the company producing The Imitation Game (Black Bear Pictures) responded to a few comments about the article on their Facebook account. This is their response:

    “Shoddy, salacious reporting does NOT equal the truth. We can happily assure you that your information is wrong.

    Alan’s homosexuality cannot and will not be rewritten, ignored or erased. We are making this film out of admiration and appreciation, and it is a responsibility we take incredibly seriously.

    [Making Turing straight would be] hugely disrespectful to his memory; in fact, he was prosecuted and chemically castrated because he was gay. It is one thing to consider being queer as nuanced. It is another entirely to elide it for “creative liberties.”

    1. Let’s then hope they get the message and really do take it to heart, I’ll wait and see how it’s reviewed.

  19. What a shame you didn’t bother to do even a modicum of research before posting this story.

    Black Bear Pictures has emphatically denied the criticism leveled by Hodge saying, “Alan’s homosexuality cannot and will not be rewritten, ignored or erased. We are making this film out of admiration and appreciation, and it is a responsibility we take incredibly seriously.”

    1. Interested party 26 Jun 2013, 1:15am

      My son is auditioning to play the young Alan. The bits of script I have seen relate to his time at Sherborne School and they are pretty in line with Andrew Hodges’ wonderful biography. It’s complicated. I did groan a little when I saw that v pretty Keira K was on board (I thought, ‘oh dear, where are they going with this?) but then I thought is it not better to bring Turing’s fascinating and tragic story to as wide an audience as possible by upping the film’s commercial potential? Jury still out. Let’s see what they do.

  20. Interested party 26 Jun 2013, 1:35am

    My son is auditioning for the part of Alan Turing and the bits of the script that I have seen relate to his time at Sherborne School – they are pretty in line with Andrew Hodges’ biography. When I saw that the v pretty Keira was on board, I did initially think ‘oh dear, where are they going with this?’ But then I thought, isn’t it best to bring Turing’s fascinating and tragic story to as wide an audience as possible by upping the commercial appeal of the film? Jury still out. Give Blackbear a chance.

    1. Interested party 26 Jun 2013, 2:27am

      I seem to be duplicating (more or less) my replies – sorry all! Struggling with this site a little.

    2. Interested party 26 Jun 2013, 2:47am

      Sorry again for repeating my post! Have just seen something on a site called ‘Televisual’ which takes an entirely new approach to all of this. They say that the brilliant code breaking Cambridge mathematician Joan Clarke, who Keira k is portraying (we’re already speculating on her wardrobe) , is a lesbian. Is this true? Is this how Black Bear productions are playing her? Does it make things any better?

    3. Being pretty is not a problem. The real problem would be to erase Turing’s sexuality. The irony is that I remember some article in the Daily Mail (one of the sources of this new scandal!) about how ugly Kate Winslet was in Enigma. They even interviewed a woman who worked in Bletchley Park to talk about it! I thought who f… cares, they changed his sexuality! (Actually, wasn’t Enigma a UK production?)
      I’m not a big fan of Ms. Knighty but I’ll not judge her performance before I see it. I read the early draft and her character isn’t so big. Actually the only important characters are the adult Alan and the young Alan (Good luck to your kid!). So I wasn’t worry about her casting and I also thought it’ll bring a wide audience.
      That early script was the one Di Caprio was attached to star for Warner Bros. and the one which won the Black List first spot. Black Bear says it was also the script Hodge read and that they have revised it “over 20 times”. Alan wasn’t straight in it, if they

      1. , if they didn’t changed that but corrected some aspects/scenes of the script, it really could be great movie because it’s a very smart work.
        More ironic trivia: Cumberbatch played a gay version of a popular straight Le Carré’s character in TTSS.

        1. Interested party 27 Jun 2013, 11:44am

          Hello again Ogsean. I agree with you on all counts. You aren’t in Norway by any chance??

          1. Interested party 27 Jun 2013, 1:07pm

            Actually The Mail took the story from The Times. Journalists are ostensibly lazy creatures . . .

          2. Greetings from Mexico! lol

    4. Julia turing 2 Jul 2013, 6:35pm

      It is not doing Alan Turing or anyone watching a movie about him any justice if the movie is not portraying an accurate story about him to those who do not know much about him. Alan did not have sexual relations with Joan Clark and I take offense at seeing Alan life being distorted for any reason especially profit, It brings shame to my name.
      Sincerely,
      Julia M. Turing

    5. Julia M. Turing 6 Jul 2013, 8:19pm

      To tell a lie or distort the true character of Alan Turing just to ‘SELL’ it is an awful injustice to not only Alan Turing himself but to everyone who sees the film who do not know about Alan except what they see in the movie thus they are getting a untrue and distorted, dumb-downed view of a truly great man.

  21. julia M. Turing 2 Jul 2013, 7:10pm

    It is not right to make a movie about Alan Turing that is made up or distort the true character of the man he was. Joan Clark was intelligent but not to the level intellectually or emotionally to provide the kind of relationship Alan was really in need of and never found throughout his life. This is just a piece of the complex puzzle that lead to his tragic suicide death. I take great offense of hearing about this movie spicing up a love relationship that Alan never did have with Clark and is the biggest reason why he broke off is relationship with her. He truly wanted children and would have made a great father had he found the right person. Alan Turing was an intellectual gift of mind so rare that it can only be numbered one in ever several hundred years, pure of heart like a child and a very kind and generous soul towards others, not to mention he saved millions of people and his country by cutting short WWII by a few years. Make a movie about him! The true Alan Turing.
    J.M Turing

    1. Johnathan 6 Jul 2013, 8:13pm

      I totally agree with you, Well said! your passion for Alan Turing and for the truth in his life story is appreciated.

  22. Julia M. Turing 6 Jul 2013, 8:55pm

    Alan Turing was an incredible human being deserving the dignity of having his story told accurately, for his contributions to his country and to the whole world is an outstanding story as he was and outstanding person, possessing the most rare of a gifted mind, athletics, and was always kind and respectful to others, an example for all of us to follow weather straight or gay. We are all human beings deserving the dignity and respect as such, otherwise we will repeat the torture to each other as Alan Turing had to endure. Through the fear of misunderstandings, we all suffer as Alan was made to suffer so horribly.

    1. I agree with whole heart Julia, well said!

  23. Julia M. Turing 6 Jul 2013, 9:11pm

    The tools of conquest do not always come in the form of bombs and combat soldiers. There are weapons that are simply ‘thoughts’ ‘attitudes’, and ‘prejudices’ to be found in the minds of men. Prejudices can kill and suspicions can destroy and the frightened search for a ‘scape goat’ has a fallout of it’s own for the children and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it all is that it cannot be confined only to this timeline or place.

    1. very eloquently put Julia. Your love and passion for this man is quite evident and your statement here gives me chills as it applies to us all as it did destroy a very valuable contributor to mankind through our stupidity and ignorance. We all lost Alan Turing when he took himself.

    2. Your powerful statement here gives me pause and reflection even to myself in my daily life. We all can learn a lot from the way Alan Turing was treated.

  24. Victoria Fernandez 24 Jul 2013, 1:55pm

    Wow, maybe the people who are bashing Benedict Cumberbatch and everyone else who are apart of this film so heavily, should read the statements that the production company has put out about respecting Turning and his story. And …I don’t know, actually see the film before making such harsh judgments and writing off everyone who was apart of it because an online article told you to be? Just maybe?

  25. Well for a nano second I was excited at the idea of this biopic… Now….not so much!!! As NewMarc said it’s like killing him all over again. Very very disappointed indeed.

  26. I’m waiting for Hollywood to make a film about how the US joined the Third Reich to fight the British.

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