Next Friday, the Dreamworks produced biopic of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is set to release in theaters. “The Fifth Estate” is based on the early days and creation of Wikileaks, however, Assange has spoken out against the film and also sent a letter to the film’s lead actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Assange.
In the letter, Assange decries the film and says that he does “not believe it is going to be positive for me or the people I care about. . . It is based on a deceitful book by someone who has a vendetta against me and my organisation.”
The film is based on two books, “Inside Wikileaks: My Time With Julian Assange and the World’s Most Dangerous Website,” by former Wikileaks collaborator Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Berg and Assange had a very nasty parting and Assange has since been a huge critic of his. The script was also written from the book “Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy” by journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding, the Huffington Post reported.
Assange further calls “The Fifth Estate” a “wretched film” in the letter that was a response to a request to meet from the film’s lead actor, Cumberbatch. Although Assange turns down the meeting for fear of validating the film, he does offer Cumberbatch a warm and cordial hand saying that “I think I would enjoy meeting you,” and that “I believe you are a good person.”
Bill Condon, the film’s director, met Assange’s criticisms with oppositions, naturally, saying that Assange “has the sense of [the film] being something very different than what it is.”
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.