Hollywood WikiLeaks movie won't attempt judgment, director says

LOS ANGELES Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:14am IST

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of Ecuador's Embassy, in central London December 20, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/Files

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of Ecuador's Embassy, in central London December 20, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor/Files

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Filming has begun on a movie drama about Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks website that director Bill Condon said will not attempt to pass final judgment on the former hacker and his influence.

Hollywood movie studio DreamWorks said on Wednesday that "The Fifth Estate," starring British actor Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange, will open in U.S. movie theaters in November 2013.

The movie will trace the early days of WikiLeaks through the eyes of Assange and his German former spokesman, Daniel Domscheit-Berg (played by Daniel Brühl), culminating in the release in 2010 of a series of thousands of damaging government documents and emails.

"It may be decades before we understand the full impact of WikiLeaks and how it's revolutionized the spread of information. So this film won't claim any long view authority on its subject, or attempt any final judgment," said Condon in a statement.

"We want to explore the complexities and challenges of transparency in the information age and, we hope, enliven and enrich the conversations WikiLeaks has already provoked," added the director, whose past projects include musical "Dreamgirls" and "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn."

The movie screenplay is based on Domscheit-Berg's 2011 book "Inside WikiLeaks," written after the disillusioned German activist quit the organization, and a second book, "WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy," by journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding.

Assange, who grew up in Australia, was also profiled in the 2012 Australian TV film "Underground."

The WikiLeaks founder has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for seven months to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning on allegations of sexual assault.

Assange has said he fears extradition will ultimately lead to him being sent to the United States, which is furious that WikiLeaks has leaked hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic and military cables.

(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Venice Film Festival

ENTERTAINMENT SHOWCASE

Art Theft

Art Theft

Jasper Johns aide admits stealing, selling artwork for $6.5 mln.  Full Article 

'Frivolous Lawsuit'

'Frivolous Lawsuit'

Grand Theft Auto maker says Lindsay Lohan sued to get attention.  Full Article 

Falling Viewership

Falling Viewership

Emmys TV audience drops to 15.6 million with Monday switch.  Full Article 

Copyright Case

Copyright Case

'Deep Throat' production company loses 'Lovelace' copyright case | .  Full Article 

Megan Fox in Seoul

Megan Fox in Seoul

The actress promotes "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" in South Korea.  Video 

LGBT Friendly

LGBT Friendly

Residents see Europe best for gays and lesbians, Africa worst - poll.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage