Days to Centenary: 255
Nikki Finke‘s very reliable blog Deadline Hollywood announced yesterday that Warner Brothers has bought Graham Moore’s spec script The Imitation Game, based on the life of Alan Turing, for an unspecified amount in the seven figures. The report is here.
Why the high price tag for a first-time screenwriter’s script about a figure who, after all, is relatively unknown outside science geek circles? WB reportedly outbid several independent studios because some guy named Leornardo DiCaprio is desperate to star in the movie, hoping that it might finally help launch the career he’s always dreamed of. Also Ron Howard,who has directed several science-related films including Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind (the latter about mathematician John Nash) is interested in directing.
I smell Oscar bait! (A Beautiful Mind won four Oscars, including Best Picture, Ron Howard has two, and that DiCaprio guy was nominated for three, although he hasn’t won any yet.)
First-time producers Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky own the rights to Andrew Hodges’ definitive biography Alan Turing: The Enigma and Finke reports that they “worked with Moore for more than a year to get the script just right.”
Finke’s bottom line on the script? She hasn’t read it but says that:
“[p]eople I trust tell me The Imitation Game is the best script they’ve read in years — and they read a lot of scripts.”
Now, scripts are known to fly around Hollywood in a fairly uncontrolled fashion, and occasionally to escape into the wilds of the internet. If anyone has found a copy of the script for The Imitation Game, please send it to me immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I can find a copy I’ll update this post with some details. (I’ll attempt to keep it spoiler-free, although what constitutes a “spoiler” in a movie based on the well-documented life of a man who’s been dead since 1954 is an open question.)
What isn’t noted in Finke’s report is that there is already a film called The Imitation Game (IMDB link here) related to Turing. It’s a science fiction short film (running time: 8:00) by director Calvin Swaim about two scientists who test a synthetic human they’ve built — a homo artificialis — to determine whether or not it can pass the Turing test. It’s a fun little film, so enjoy!