Here’s Your First Look at Benedict Cumberbatch’s New Oscar Campaign

Last year’s The Fifth Estate was expected to become a player in the awards season, especially for Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Julian Assange. That didn’t happen. But this year he’s back playing another real life figure: Alan Turing, known as the Father of Theoretical Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. This teaser from the U.K. is the first look at The Imitation Game.

Turing was recruited during World War II to build a machine that could break codes used by the Nazis. He eventually did and Winston Churchill said that Turing’s was the biggest contribution to the Allied victory from any single person. It is this period of Turing’s life on which the trailer focuses but, ostensibly, the film will also delve into that later, much more tragic, years of Turing’s life. In 1952, Turing was charged with the crime of homosexuality and chemically castrated by the government. Just two years later, he commit suicide.

Certainly the wartime story is an interesting one, but it’s Turing’s descent from hero to criminal that really sets his story apart. As the film’s November release date comes closer, it will be interesting to see how this film is marketed: as a WWII period piece or the true story of a man unfairly persecuted by a bigoted government. While it’s probably the second one that gets more attention from Oscar, sadly, it’s probably the first that puts more butts in seats.

UPDATE: Here’s the U.S. version, which was also released today: