"I've made each row all one colour... why won't they crush?!? WHY CAN'T I BEAT THIS LEVELLLLL"


"I've made each row all one colour... why won't they crush?!? WHY CAN'T I BEAT THIS LEVELLLLL"

THE IMITATION GAME

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. BENEDICT'S APARTMENT - POST-WWII

We see closeups of BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH'S TRASHED APARTMENT while he practices his SMAUG voice.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH (V.O.)

Pay close attention. Very, very careful attention. Otherwise you might overlook the super subtle clues that hint at the secret deeper meanings of this story like I'M GAY AND INVENTED COMPUTERS THAT WON WORLD WAR TWO. You might miss that unless you pay very, very, very, close attention WHOOPS STUBBED MY TOE ON THIS COMPUTER THAT HELPED DEFEAT THE NAZIS, I PREFER COCK BY THE WAY

DETECTIVE RORY KINNEAR consults with two BOBBIES outside the crime scene.

RORY KINNEAR

Hmm, Benedict claimed nothing was stolen, then insulted us until we left. I think he's... hiding something.

BOBBY

Surely a guy who helped plan an ENTIRE WAR around not arousing Germany's suspicions, would know enough not to arouse the suspicions of a few random cops, though?

RORY KINNEAR

You're right! Only a Soviet spy would be capable of such self-contradiction!

EXT. FLASHBACK - WARTIME

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH makes his way through the CREDITS and enters the office of high-ranking military guy CHARLES DANCE.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Oh hello, I think I'm here for the Sheldon Cooper auditions?

CHARLES DANCE

Very well. Let's recite a dozen or so jokes that could have been lifted VERBATIM from The Big Bang Theory.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Ba-ZIN-ga.

CHARLES DANCE

Excellent! Come with me.

INT. BLETCHLEY PARK

CHARLES introduces BENEDICT to his new team of codebreakers, THE INTERCHANGEABLE BRITISH WHITEGUY BAND!

CHARLES DANCE

Benedict, I'd like you to meet Matthew Goode, Allen Leech, and two disposable dipshits. This is our elite team that needs to crack the German Enigma code. Oh, and over here skulking in the corner is Mark Strong, he's with the snappy-suit division of military intelligence.

BENEDICT grabs a DESK and begins drawing lots and lots of circular patterns.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

That's it! I've done it! No wait, hold on, I've invented Spirograph. Oops.

MATTHEW GOODE

Not to worry, Benedict. We're going for lunch, would you like a sandwich?

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Oh yes please, how about you stuff it with your own ballsack and then suck it dry. Did I mention I'm not good with people?

INT. RECORDS OFFICE - POST-WWII

Meanwhile, back in the present, i.e. 1951, so actually less-back in the past...

RORY KINNEAR

Ah, hello, I need to see Cumberbatch's war records please, and here is my totally legitimate police document authorizing it.

COZZER

Fuck's sake, you've clearly put Liquid Paper on some other guy's name and typed over it. Never mind that holding the paper up to the light, as I am now doing, would spotlight the opaque blob of corrective fluid against the translucent sheet. This is beyond ridiculous!

RORY KINNEAR

I guess I won't bother depositing these million-pound paycheques.

He GETS the record and it proves to be... an EMPTY FOLDER!

RORY KINNEAR

Huh? They couldn't even be bothered to make up a boring fake record?

COZZER

Well, I guess whoever Cumberbatch is working for, they definitely don't specialize in secrets and misinformation!

INT. CHARLES DANCE'S OFFICE - WARTIME

BENEDICT calls a meeting of EVERY CHARACTER WE'VE BEEN INTRODUCED TO IN THIS TIME PERIOD.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Listen up twits, I directly messaged Winston Churchill, and he favoured it enough to put me in charge. First order of business is to fire the two dipshits!

CHARLES DANCE

What? Why?

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Because they have been no help with my efforts to crack Enigma alone with no help!

MATTHEW GOODE

Oh, I bet you were real popular at SCHOOL.

(pause)

Yes, I'm willing to bet that SCHOOL was no fun for you.

(pause)

Guys, that was the cue for the SCHOOL flashback-in-a-flashback! Come on, we can't be MORE blatant than

EXT. PRIVATE SCHOOL - PRE-WWII

We see how YOUNG BENEDICT did not like his peas and carrots touching, leading to him being OSTRACIZED, TORTMENTED, BURIED ALIVE, and repeatedly called CUMBER-BITCH, so remember kiddies to just EAT YOUR FUCKING VEGGIES YOU FUSSY LITTLE SNOTS. Anyway, schoolmate JACK BANNON takes pity.

JACK BANNON

(removing Young Benedict from bear trap)

Theeeere you are. Also I'd stay away from the cafeteria today, they're serving eggs.

YOUNG BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Why would that lead to anyth... oh. Look, I appreciate your help, but what I really need is some kind of inspirational, feel-good tag line to build our Oscar campaign around...

JACK BANNON

(actual line)

(like a thousand times)

Sometimes it's the very people who no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine.

YOUNG BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Ooooh, that's it! That's THE LINE! Wow, I think I might be developing feelings for you. But I'm sure I have at least a few weeks to figure that out, it's not like you'll drop dead at any moment from some horrible disease, right?

JACK BANNON

Ha, ha, no, of course not.

(shits out lung)

INT. BLETCHLEY PARK - WARTIME

BENEDICT lifts his head from his A BEAUTIFUL MIND WORKSPACE and notices that ENIGMA still isn't broken.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Strangely, our team is about two people short. But no fear, we'll find new people with this special crossword I designed.

MATTHEW GOODE

Won't that just test trivia knowledge and such? Shouldn't we use an actual, y'know, cryptogram?

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Whatever, it's not like cryptograms have been in newspapers since the 1800s.

They PRINT the crossword! BRITAIN DROPS FUCKING EVERYTHING to madly try and complete it.

GUY IN AIR RAID SHELTER

Gotta finish--

(arm blown off)

Phew, still got me writin' hand!

BENEDICT gathers everyone who solved the crossword, one of whom turns out to be KEIRA KNIGHTLEY!

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

Hi, I finished your crossword in sixteen seconds. And in the time it took me to say that, I finished today's final-round crossword. And while I'm saying this sentence, I'm finishing the crossword you'll write next week... there, done.

(smiles)

I'm a big fan, I've read your paper about building powerful calculating machines that can solve any problem.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Holy hell, is THAT what the writers think a Universal Turing Machine is? It's almost literally the opposite--it's a theoretical model used to determine if a problem is UN-solveable. Whatever, you're hired.

RANDOM ASSHOLE

(flustered)

WHAT, BLARGH BLAUUGH HIRING A FEMALE?!? But, but, the pregnant dishwashing brigade is in the second-class citizens' building!! SPLURMF PHLUMG!!

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

Wait, are we shoving in an "overcoming sexism" theme into this movie, which is already barely about "overcoming homophobia"? You guys know this bit is all made-up, right? That the person I'm based on already worked at Bletchley Park?

ANNA MAXWELL MARTIN, RACHAEL STIRLING, JULIE GRAHAM, AND SOPHIE RUNDLE

Eh, we're used to being overlooked. Just roll with it.

INT. PRIVATE SCHOOL - PRE-WWII

JACK BANNON

Look Benedict, I got you a code book. This is the next stage in your Origin Story.

(leg falls off)

YOUNG BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

It's sure lucky that pretty much every formative experience I ever had is neatly contained in these few weeks of my life!

INT. BLETCHLEY PARK - WARTIME

BENEDICT has started building a BIG-ASS MACHINE the purpose of which appears to be starting petty arguments.

MATTHEW GOODE

Your machine is total crap!

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

No it isn't!

MATTHEW PALIN

Yes it is!

BENEDICT CLEESE

No it isn't!

MATTHEW GOODE

You can't possibly expect us to think it'll ever work!

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Well, yes I totally can, because it's just an improved version of a device invented in Poland a year ago called the "bomba kryptologiczna" which I will acknowledge by calling my device the "bombe".

(pause)

Just kidding, I'm calling it Jack Bannon, because gay guy, remember?

MATTHEW GOODE

Hey, where's Keira Knightley? Maybe having an extra person saying "No it isn't" will crack Enigma.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

For some stupid reason her parents didn't want her working alone with a bunch of horny Army men, but I came up with an airtight cover story that will allow her to help us break Enigma. The cover requires her to be in another building at all times and not actually help us break Enigma.

MATTHEW GOODE

Brilliant. What was the point, then?

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Ooh, this is where I should tell you THE LINE. Brace yourself, it's a goody.

BENEDICT delivers THE LINE and now, the Imitation Game is truly afoot!

INT. BLETCHLEY PARK - MONTHS LATER

Everyone is hard at work when an ALARM sounds MIDNIGHT!

MATTHEW GOODE

Aw fuck, the midnight deadline, when the Germans reset their codes! ARRRGH

(throws aside papers)

(shits on them)

(sets desk on fire)

ALLEN LEECH

Damn, I had this message decoded as far as "SEND ALL BOMBERS TO ATTACK MANCHEST" but guess I'll just quit and go home! Fuck those last two letters!

MATTHEW GOODE

Yeah, none of the remaining transmissions could possibly affect events in the future, they're so much useless spoogetissues now!

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

If we always restart our efforts at midnight why do we work uselessly right up to the deadline? Wouldn't there come a point at 10:30 or so where we realize today is fucked and we should rest up?

MATTHEW GOODE

It doesn't help that Benedict insists on solving the larger, overall problem instead of frantically chasing endless day-by-day problems like the rest of us! I grow weary of his long-term thinking!

MATTHEW storms into the machine room!

MATTHEW GOODE

SCREW YOU BENNY! Your machine totally SUCKS!

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Seems a bit late for our daily banter but okay NO IT DOESN'T!

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

We're really going with the version of this where Turing did all the work and nobody else on the team understood the design, huh?

MATTHEW GOODE

Hey, I added diagonal lines. DIAGONAL! Though I really wish you'd consider my giant squid idea.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

It's true, my visionary genius is a solitary one.

(wistful)

But someday I might even build a DIGITAL version of this device for COMPUTING things. Maybe even a PERSONAL type of COMPUTER. Uh-oh, Charles Dance is coming and he looks pissed, I'd better escape through these... WINDOWS.

SOLIDERS burst in, search BENEDICT'S DESK, and throw shit everywhere!

CHARLES DANCE

We have reason to believe there's a mole. We can't let anything compromise the program, so we thought we'd come in and fuck your shit up but otherwise let you all continue unabated.

MATTHEW GOODE

That seems a bit futile. Basically you exist because otherwise, it's just us sitting around staring at paper for hours, right?

CHARLES DANCE

(flipping table full of codes)

Correct! Look, you guys have one more month to start cracking some codes, or I'm firing you all! Antagonism accomplished!

(leaves)

INT. BLETCHLEY - THE NEXT MORNING

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

Benedict, I've been thinking. This is a conventionally written biopic, so the REAL conflict here is that you will have to overcome some deep-seated character flaw in order to crack this code. Why not conquer your social awkwardness?

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Capital idea, Keira.

(addressing room)

Good day, fellow humans! Perhaps you would enjoy some carbon-based foodstuff.

(hands out apples)

AHEM! A JOKE FOR YOUR AMUSEMENT. SO THERE WAS THIS THEATRE FAMILY THAT SHAT ON AND FUCKED EACH OTHER AND THEY WERE CALLED THE ARISTOCRATS. JOKE ENDS.

(to self)

Point: Cumberbatch.

INT. POLICE STATION - POST-WWII

The POLICE bring in BENEDICT for questioning.

RORY KINNEAR

Look here Cumberbatch, I think you're a Soviet spy, and you've been charged with a #10-223, Being Kind of A Dick To A Police Officer. So you'd better start talking.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Officer, you must now face a test. A Turing Test, if you will.

RORY KINNEAR

What's that?

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

It's a game I proposed where a human tries to figure out if they're talking to another human or a computer.

RORY KINNEAR

Are you... are you asking me to guess if you're human? Because you have skin and hair and stuff. Why are we talking about this?

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Because it's a thing people have heard of, which will remind Academy voters that this is occasionally a true story.

INT. BEER HUT - WARTIME

BENEDICT and KEIRA are celebrating their NEW ENGAGEMENT with the TEAM.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Hmm. You don't think the fact that I'm a homosexual is going to be a problem for my marriage, do you?

ALLEN LEECH

Holy fuck, why are we talking about this out loud at a party full of people including your fiancee?

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

I think we're just biding our time until some random civilian makes a casual comment that solves this whole mess, like in any given episode of House, Castle, The Mentalist, etcetera.

(smiles to camera)

Best Adapted Screenplay nominee, everyone!

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY'S FRIEND

Hey Matthew Goode, let's flirt. Man, that guy Hitler sure sucks, amirite? Sex.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Eureka! Hitler, that's it!

He RUSHES MADLY OFF to the codebreaking room and everyone FOLLOWS!

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

They always end the day's first message with "Heil Hitler"! We can use that to do a Known Plaintext Attack and thus crack the code quickly!

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

Hurray, we've discovered a technique that in reality, both sides knew all about before the war even started! For an encore let's take out a Panzer tank division by inventing the bayonet.

The MACHINE works, ENIGMA is CRACKED, COLIN FIRTH stops STUTTERING, and BRITAIN IS SAVED!

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Wait, we can't actually use this information, or they'll know we broke the code.

ALLEN LEECH

What?!? Not once in all the months we've worked together have we ever discussed what to do if we succeeded, we must have a big screaming argument about it right now!!

MARK STRONG

Guys, calm down. Just give me the messages, and the Secret Intelligence Service can decide what to act on and who to let die, so the Germans don't catch on.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

Or how about we stretch the truth a LEEEEEETLE bit more and make that OUR job for some reason? Like maybe it involves probabilities, which are math, and so is codebreaking? Really reaching here.

MARK STRONG

Okay fine, but how are you going to explain that to Charles Dance? You know, the guy who will fire you if you don't decrypt every message?

MATTHEW GOODE

We can take care of that quite elegantly by just not giving him any more scenes.

BENEDICT, KEIRA, MATTHEW GOODE, and ALLEN LEECH keep breaking codes and using MATH PERCENT of them to save STATISTICS NUMBERS of lives. BENEDICT is narrating on the enormous mental toll of this utterly made-up job when suddenly, he spots a BIBLE on ALLEN LEECH'S desk!

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Wait a sec, the Russian spy's cypher key was from the Bible! Nobody else could ever have a Bible for any reason, you must be the mole!

ALLEN LEECH

Okay, you got me. In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have earmarked, highlighted, and gotten a face-tattoo of the cypher passage. But if you rat me out, I'll tell everyone you're gay. Stalemate!

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Gosh you're right, then we'd have a classic case of "he said / lying treasonous Russian fucking mole said" and that could go either way, can't risk it.

(pause)

Wait, is this movie about to pretend Alan Turing was a traitor to his country because he was afraid of being outed as gay? Because--

MARK STRONG

(interrupting)

Don't worry, Benny. Allen's actually working for us but doesn't even know it. Charles Dance is in the dark also. It's a whole complex charade operating on multiple levels and yet can we put a basic fake record in your war file NOOOOOOO, TYPING MADE-UP THINGS WHAT IS THAT, HURRRRRRR

(pause)

Anyway, thanks for winning the war everyone. You've created an invaluable tool that will give Britain a huge advantage in any future conflict. Now please destroy the machine, burn all your notes, and never see each other again.

The TEAM disbands, BENEDEIRA breaks up, and VALUABLE SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE is merrily heaped on the bonfire.

INT. POLICE STATION - POST-WWII

BENEDICT finishes divulging years of British Intelligence Secrets to some schlub cop.

RORY KINNEAR

Wow, that's quite a tale. Uh... was there a bit in there about you being gay, though?

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Oh, right. Yeah, I had lots of homosexual relationships. Actually, since this movie seems to think it's pretty pro-LGBT, maybe we should include even a single shot of adult me being in a relationship with a man.

RORY KINNEAR

What? No. Ewwwww.

BENEDICT is found guilty of FRANCHISE OVEREXPOSURE and PUBLICLY OSCARBAITING and sentenced to CHEMICAL CASTRATION.

INT. BENEDICT'S APARTMENT - POST-WWII

BENEDICT gets a visit from KEIRA.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

I came as soon as I heard. How are you holding up? It seems like the movie-version of chemical castration just makes you shake a bit, so that's not too bad, eh?

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

I'm alright, I built another Enigma-Breaker machine for some reason even though that problem has already been solved and I have nothing to input to it. I named it Jack Bannon and I talk to it like an AI and none of this happened.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

Jack Bannon, your childhood crush? Whatever happened to him?

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

He died of bovine tuberculosis, but we moved past that too quickly for anyone to snicker at how silly that sounds.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY

Oh. Well, I thought it might cheer you up to hear THE LINE.

(delivers THE LINE)

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

(smiling faintly)

Yes, that's quite nice. Thanks for the visit, Keira. It's been helpful to receive some measure of comfort in these trying times. At least I still have my work. Goodnight.

(kills self offscreen)

(wait, woah, what the fuck just happ-)

TITLE CARD: YES THOUGH ALAN TURING IS DEAD HIS LEGACY LIVES ON. FOR TODAY, HIS TURING MACHINES ARE WHAT WE NOW CALL "COMPUTERS", FOR THE SAME REASON THAT CARSON'S BANDWIDTH RULE IS NOW CALLED "IPHONES" AND THE SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS IS CALLED "CARS".

TITLE CARD: BENEDICT WAS EVENTUALLY PARDONED FOR BEING GAY, BUT HE WILL NEVER BE PARDONED FOR BEING KHAN.

END

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