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Tag: Julian Assange (1-9 of 9)

Julian Assange writes open letter to Benedict Cumberbatch; Cumberbatch responds

It’s no secret that WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, aren’t exactly crazy about Bill Condon’s WikiLeaks film The Fifth Estate. Last month, the anti-secrecy organization leaked a copy of the film’s script alongside a memo that called Condon’s movie “irresponsible, counterproductive and harmful.” WikiLeaks announced the memo with a tweet that briefly and critically appraises the movie — “As WikiLeaks was never consulted about the upcoming Hollywood film on us, we’ve given our advice for free: It’s bad.”

This week, WikiLeaks has thrown more fuel on the fire by posting a letter from Assange himself — purportedly sent to Fifth Estate star Benedict Cumberbatch immediately before the film began shooting in mid-January. The movie stars Cumberbatch as Assange.

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WikiLeaks leaks 'The Fifth Estate' script, rips 'work of fiction masquerading as fact'

When The Fifth Estate, Bill Condon’s movie about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month, virtually every member of the cast and crew who walked the red carpet was playfully asked whether they suspected Assange himself had somehow hacked into the screening and was watching the film from a secure location. Assange, who’d already publicly denounced the project, remained mostly silent as it debuted in Toronto. Well, not anymore. In a tweet sent yesterday, WikiLeaks said, “As WikiLeaks was never consulted about the upcoming Hollywood film on us, we’ve given our advice for free: It’s bad.”

Linked to the tweet, WikiLeaks posted what it calls a “mature version” of Josh Singer’s’s Fifth Estate screenplay, along with an extensive memo that calls the movie “irresponsible, counterproductive and harmful.” While the movie depicts Assange righteously exposing American secrets, including the names of government informants around the globe, WikiLeaks denies that anyone was harmed and refers to the U.S. government’s own case against Assange as evidence. According to WikiLeaks, the film “is a work of fiction masquerading as fact” that was based on two outdated books written by people with personal or legal grudges against WikiLeaks. “These authors had an interest in portraying Julian Assange as dishonest or manipulative for competitive, personal and legal reasons,” WikiLeaks said in its memo. “It is hard to imagine how a film which aims to dramatise only their version of events could genuinely aspire to being fair or accurate.” READ FULL STORY

Toronto 2013: 'The Fifth Estate' is a feverish tale of cyberjournalism

The Fifth Estate, Bill Condon’s feverishly edgy and exciting drama about the events surrounding WikiLeaks and its infamous founder, the renegade Australian journalist-anarchist Julian Assange, is one of the only movies I’ve seen that really gets, in the rollicking density of its storytelling DNA, how the Internet has changed everything. It’s easy to see why Condon, returning from the Twilight zone to his role as a serious entertainer (Kinsey, Gods and Monsters), wanted to make this movie. In form, it’s a vintage journalism thriller, a nihilistic newspaper drama for the dark digital age. Assange, played by the rising British star Benedict Cumberbatch, is a tall, slit-eyed, hooded creature who presents himself — accurately — as a new kind of information warrior, a subversive of the cyber era who will publish anything that exposes fraud, corruption, violence, the sins of corporations and governments. He isn’t too discriminating: The documents come right at him, from anonymous leakers around the globe, and apart from his promise to expose those documents to the widest audience imaginable, the only service he provides is protecting the whistleblowers. Their identities, he assures, will be shrouded in the layers of obfuscation made possible by computer technology. READ FULL STORY

'The Fifth Estate' trailer: Governments and banks tremble in true-life Wikileaks thriller

In an age when no one’s privacy is safe, even Big Brother has to worry about keeping his secrets.

The debut trailer for The Fifth Estate, a true-life thriller about the hemorrhage of government data in the Wikileaks age, depicts the early years of the clash between the most powerful nation on Earth and a group of well-connected hacker journalists.

Judging by the trailer, the movie seems to lean toward celebrating the rebel forces of Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his Wikileaks brethren, but director Bill Condon (Kinsey, Gods and Monsters, Dreamgirls) tells EW that’s not his intent.

“The movie presents him neither as hero or villain. We just try to present who he is and let you make up your mind,” Condon says. “I think, in fact, he’s neither.”

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Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange: Producer of documentary 'We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks' weighs in

Right now, mention of the name Benedict Cumberbatch brings to mind characters like Sherlock Holmes and his mystery-until-now Star Trek Into Darkness villain. But later this year the buzz around the British actor will likely shift to another role: Julian Assange, co-creator of the controversial website WikiLeaks.

Assange’s story has already made a trip to the silver screen with We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, a documentary directed by Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room). The film’s producer Marc Shmuger (former co-chairman of Universal Pictures) has revealed some thoughts on the upcoming project starring Cumberbatch as Assange, The Fifth Estate.

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'We Steal Secrets' trailer: Alex Gibney's WikiLeaks movie looks suitably scandalous

Documentarian Alex Gibney has practically become an industry unto himself, cranking out a series of politically incendiary documentaries like Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Taxi to the Dark Side, and Casino Jack and the United States of Money. Next up is We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, an investigation of the non-profit hacker-espionage organization — fronted by Julian Assange — which published terrifying footage from a Baghdad airstrike and several thousand top-secret government documents in 2010. The doc will apparently cover the ensuing furor, along with the legal problems of Assange, who’s currently avoiding a European arrest warrant while residing in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Watch the trailer: READ FULL STORY

Check out Benedict Cumberbatch as Wikileaks' Julian Assange in 'The Fifth Estate' -- FIRST LOOK

The year of Benny Batch continues! DreamWorks announced today that principal photography has commenced on its heretofore untitled feature film about the creation of the controversial website WikiLeaks and its co-founder and international fugitive Julian Assange. Now titled The Fifth Estate, the film traces the meteoric rise of the site through the eyes of Assange colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg. He’s played by Inglourious Basterds‘ Daniel Brühl, who’s pictured above with Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange in the first official image from the film. Bleached white hair is eerily becoming on Mr. Cumberbatch, is it not?  READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Laura Linney, James McAvoy circling Benedict Cumberbatch/WikiLeaks movie. Plus: Marisa Tomei, James Corden

• Pssst! Laura Linney and James McAvoy are negotiating to join Benedict Cumberbatch (i.e. Benny Batch) in an untitled film about WikiLeaks and its infamous founder Julian Assange. Bill Condon (DreamgirlsThe Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn) will direct from a script by Fringe scribe Josh Singer, based on Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website, and David Leigh and Luke Harding’s WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy. [TheWrap]

• Marisa Tomei is in talks to star opposite Hugh Grant in an untitled romantic comedy about a down-on-his-luck Oscar-winning screenwriter who falls for the single mom taking his screenwriting course at a small college. Marc Lawrence (Music and Lyrics, Two Weeks Notice) is directing from his script. [TheWrap]

• Tony award winning actor James Corden (Broadway’s One Man, Two Guvnors) is attached to star in School for Santas, a holiday comedy about a father who seeks out his inner Saint Nicholas to repair his relationship with his kids. One Man, Two Guvnors‘ playwright Richard Bean is penning the script. No director is yet attached. [Deadline]

Read more:
Casting Net: Bryan Cranston joining thriller ‘Eye of Winter.’ Plus: Christopher Meloni, Richard Dreyfuss, Gloria Reuben
Casting Net: Charlize Theron signs on as doc narrator. Plus Liam Neeson, Bruce McGill
Casting Net: Kelsey Grammer, Kyra Sedgwick join ensemble of ‘Reach Me.’ Plus: Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl plan ‘The Nut Job’

The Julian Assange movie is screening at Toronto. Watch the trailer now!

Silver-haired fugitive Julian Assange is currently enjoying the fast-paced lifestyle inside of Ecuador’s London Embassy, so he probably won’t be able to make it to the Toronto debut of Underground: The Julian Assange Story, the new Australian telefilm about the early years of the WikiLeaks founder. Newcomer Alex Williams plays Assange, when he was just a callow young fellow hacking into government mainframes. Anthony LaPaglia and Rachel Griffiths throw off their fake American TV accents, playing the lawman tracking Assange and Assange’s mother, respectively. Watch the trailer: READ FULL STORY

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