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The Weinstein Company has paid an astonishing $7 million to acquire The Imitation Game. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley that should put everyone’s favorite Sherlock star in position for an Oscar nomination.
The Imitation Game is prime Oscar bait, telling the tragic story of Alan Turing, a British mathematician who was hailed a hero during World War II for breaking codes. However, after the war, he was prosecuted for being a homosexual. The project has been in the works for years and was once a major studio project. Warner Bros. had acquired Graham Moore’s script, but dropped it once Leonardo DiCaprio decided to leave.
Cumberbatch signed on in February 2013 and Knightley joined in June. Morten Tyldum is directing and the rest of the cast includes Matthew Goode and Mark Strong. Teddy Schwarzman's Black Bear Pictures produced.
The film is still in production and sparked a bidding war at the Berlin Film Festival’s European Film Market. The Hollywood Reporter confirms that TWC has picked it up for $7 million.
“Teddy Schwarzman and Morten Tyldum took a script that Bob and I loved but were worried about its tone because if you got it wrong one inch to the left or one inch to the right, you would have major problems,” Harvey Weinstein told Deadline, which first reported the news. “These guys got it so perfect, they did a better job than I ever could have.”
Weinstein also praised the cast, calling Cumberbatch “unbelievable.” He also predicts a big year for Knightley, who will also be appearing in Can A Song Save Your Life?. Weinstein and other potential buyers were only shown a 15-minute reel during the EFM.
TWC hasn’t set a release date, but they will likely hold the film back for a prime awards season slot.
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