Alan Turing and Stephen Hawking are noted British scientists, well recognized for their work and for having faced significant challenges in their lives. While they were in different fields and productive in different parts of the 20th century (Hawking is still with us), their stories will compete in movieplexes (at least in the U.S.) this November.
The Theory of Everything is scheduled for release on November 7 and focuses on the early career and life of Hawking. He’s portrayed by Eddie Redmayne, and the film is directed by James Marsh. Marsh has several documentaries to his credit, including the Oscar-winning Man on Wire. Theory is the third film project on Hawking since 2004, but the first to get much attention outside of the United Kingdom (this might explain why it won’t debut in the U.K. until New Year’s Day). It premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.
The Imitation Game also premieres in Toronto next month, and bows in U.S. theaters on November 21 (a week after it does in the U.K.). Turing will be portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, who has a track record of playing scientists (he portrayed Hawking in a 2004 BBC production). Morton Tyldum directs the film; it is his first English-language film following success in his native Norway.
I suspect, however, that both films will be challenged– at least commercially – by Christopher Nolan’s next film, Interstellar. His first film as director following his Batman movies, Interstellar is the story of what happens when a wormhole is discovered and humans attempt to travel through it.