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Topping last year's The Black List, Graham Moore's The Imitation Game tells the fascinating true story of English mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing. Since the spec script about the historical figure checks off so many awards-bait boxes, it obviously received a lot of attention from some big name actors including Leonardo DiCaprio. Now, after a few months of silence the highly-regarded project finally seems to be moving forward by approaching to J. Blakeson to direct.
Variety reports that the director, who made his feature debut with the taut and (mostly) intelligent crime thriller The Disappearance of Alice Creed, is in talks to take on Moore's The Imitation Game. The World War II-set period piece is about Turing's famous efforts cracking the German Enigma Code during the conflict as well as his lifelong battle with hiding his homosexuality which, uh, didn't end well. Blakeson may not have much experience, but he' has a lot of potential and I'd love to see what he can do with DiCaprio (if he's still in) after getting such a fantastic performance from Gemma Arterton in his first film.
I said 'if he's still in' regarding DiCaprio because, as the Variety article notes, the actor just announced plans to once again reunite with Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street. Terence Winter's adaptation of Jordan Belfort's memoir has been Scorsese's next picture for the last three pictures, so even though it might tear the star away from the equally exciting prospect of him playing Turing for Imitation Game, I'm okay with him backing out - even though there has been no indication that he will yet.
Besides, DiCaprio brings too much period piece biopic baggage with him (The Aviator, Catch Me If You Can and J. Edgar to name a few) that I'd rather see someone else tackle Turing. With Blakeson being from the U.K. and Imitation Game being a very English WWII story, I wouldn't be surprised if the project suddenly looked to the other side of the Atlantic for a leading man. Or at least an Australian. The studio still seems intent on keeping DiCaprio but Michael Fassbender seems like the obvious choice.