Benedict Cumberbatch to Play Julian Assange in Dreamworks’ WikiLeaks Movie Fifth Estate
January 28, 2013

I think I just put the entire story in the headline, but Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) doesn’t look nearly so good in stringy blond hair. He’s shown here with Daniel Brühl, playing Daniel Domscheit-Berg, in The Fifth Estate.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange and Daniel Brühl as Daniel Domscheit-Berg in The Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate is being made by DreamWorks Studios and will open in the US on November 15, 2013. Additional stars include Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Peter Capaldi, Dan Stevens, Alicia Vikander, and Carice van Houten. Director Bill Condon is known for Kinsey and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. Screenplay is by Josh Singer, who previously wrote for The West Wing. US distribution will be handled by Disney’s Touchstone label.

I’m frankly surprised to see this picture being made, given how hard the government has come down on anyone associated with WikiLeaks. The official description of the film is

Following Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Brühl), an early supporter and eventual colleague of Julian Assange (Cumberbatch), The Fifth Estate traces the heady, early days of WikiLeaks, culminating in the release of a series of controversial and history changing information leaks. The website’s overnight success brought instant fame to its principal architects and transformed the flow of information to news media and the world at large.

Participant Media is co-financing with DreamWorks. They aim to “focus on real issues that shape our lives” and “create social action and advocacy programs to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action.” Their other films include An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night, and Good Luck, Charlie Wilson’s War, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The companies previously collaborated on The Help and Lincoln, among others.

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