Enchantress of Numbers is to be a biopic of our very own heroine Ada Lovelace - the first programmer. Rumours are that the lead character is to be played by Zooey Deschanel. Directed by Bruce Beresford it will be out some time next year.
It looks as if one of our heroes, or rather heroines, is about to get the publicity she deserves. Ada Lovelace was the first computer programmer and now she is to be the subject of a period drama with the title "Enchantress of Numbers". Ada worked with Charles Babbage and was the daughter of Lord Byron. She died at the young age of 36 in 1852, so there should be plenty of scope for drama and angst.
Her claim to fame is that she created the first programs for Babbage's analytical engine - despite the fact that the machine itself was never completed. So in this sense she wasn't the first person to actually run a computer program and for that honour we have to wait until a hardware expert managed to actually build a machine that worked! However Ada showed a deep understanding of the abstract ideas of computing and programming in general and appreciated what the Victorian machine might have been able to do if only it could be finished.
So far who is to play the major male characters hasn't been announced but Ada herself might be played by Zooey Deschanel who is in negotiations for the part. This wouldn't be her first geeky role as she played Trillion in the film of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - every programmer's favourite book if not film - but it would be her first period costume movie. Come to think of it there aren't many costume period movies about mathematics, programming and computers full stop! The movie is currently being referred to as a "Hot Math Drama"!
If all this proves to be true and the film gets an all-star cast then computing and computing history should benefit. It doesn't hurt the image of programing to have this glamorous exposure. After all look what her sister Emily Deschanel has done for forensic anthropology by way of the TV series Bones.
The film is to be directed by Bruce Beresford, well known for films such as Driving Miss Daisy, and Crimes of the Heart. Filming is scheduled to start in the autumn.