The previously untitled WikiLeaks film directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) will now be titled The Fifth Estate. The first image from the film has also debuted. It features Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) as Julian Assange with Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds) as Daniel Domscheit-Berg. The Fifth Estate centers on the polarizing figure of Assange from the rise of his WikiLeaks website to the eventual controversial explosion over leaked government documents. The film is now slated to release on November 15, 2013. Hit the jump for the full press release and to see the first image from The Fifth Estate.
We recently reported that James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class) was in negotiations to star opposite Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) in director Bill Condon’s Julian Assange/WikiLeaks movie, but it looks like that role has fallen to Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds). With Cumberbatch set to play WikiLeaks founder Assange, Brühl will play his right-hand man, Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Domscheit-Berg was a German tech activist who became a spokesman for the organization and wrote the book Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website, the rights of which were picked up by DreamWorks. Hit the jump for more.
One of many films about the WikiLeaks scandal and/or founder Julian Assange currently in development is now moving forward. We previously knew that Benedict Cumberbatch was set to play Assange in DreamWorks’ adaptation of Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s book Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange At The World’s Most Dangerous Website with Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Twilight: Breaking Dawn) looking to direct, and now it appears that the second lead role has been filled. Variety reports that James McAvoy will star alongside Cumberbatch as Domscheit-Berg, Assange’s right hand man. Hit the jump for more on the film.
A number of films centering on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are in the works at the moment, but the one that seems to be gaining the most momentum comes from Gods and Monsters director Bill Condon. Just this past July we learned that Jeremy Renner was keen on playing Assange in DreamWorks’ iteration of the story, but now Deadline hears that Sherlock and Star Trek 2 star Benedict Cumberbatch is the one being discussed for the role. Moreover, the studio is also mulling over the idea of The Killing and RoboCop star Joel Kinnaman playing Assange’s right hand man, Daniel Domscheit.
Cumberbatch and Kinnaman certainly have the acting chops to pull this off, but no solid conversations appear to have taken place just yet. Condon hasn’t officially committed to directing yet either (though he’s likely to), but one assumes he’d be happy to helm a character-centered drama like this in the wake of directing the two-part Twilight finale. Hopefully we hear more firm word soon, but a Cumberbatch/Kinnaman team-up sounds like a solid idea.
There are a number of projects in development about WikiLeaks and/or WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but one such film may now be moving closer to a reality. Per Deadline, Jeremy Renner is apparently keen on playing Assange in DreamWorks’ iteration of the story, with Kinsey and Twilight: Breaking Dawn director Bill Condon looking at possible taking the helm. No solid movement has been made concerning Renner or Condon, but the two would make an interesting team to tackle one of the most high profile stories of the last decade. Hit the jump for more.
Rowan Joffe (The American) has signed on to script a WikiLeaks movie co-produced by HBO and the BBC. According to Variety, Joffe’s script will focus on “the story of the database run by former hacker and internet activist Julian Assange and his operatives, whose mission is to collect and disseminate via the Internet private, secret and classified information from anonymous sources.” After releasing thousands of sensitive government documents, Assange was at the center of a maelstrom of controversy and news coverage last year, in turn multiple feature projects. Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) will produce one, Josephson Entertainment and Michelle Krumm Productions optioned an Assange biography in the works, and Alex Gibney (Casino Jack and the United States of Money) will direct a WikiLeaks documentary. Charles Ferguson (Inside Job) is on board as director for the HBO/BBC project.
Joffe’s feature directorial debut, Brighton Rock, premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. His most recent assignments are all adaptations: Before I Go to Sleep, Agent Zigzag, and Great Expectations.
His financial crisis documentary Inside Job took home the Academy Award for Best Documentary earlier this year, but now director Charles Ferguson is moving into the realm of fact-based drama for HBO. Deadline reports he will be at the helm of a new film about WikiLeaks founder and headline grabber Julian Assange. HBO is working with BBC on the project which will use Raffi Khatchadourian’s New Yorker article, No Secrets: Julian Assange’s Mission for Total Transparency, as the source material. The article itself follows Assange and WikiLeaks operatives as they embark on their mission to leak a 38-minute classified video taken inside the cockpit of a U.S. Army Apache Helicopter. With as much attention as Assange has gotten in the news recently, the film should certainly be of interest to viewers. Can I suggest Neil Patrick Harris to play Assange?
Screenwriter Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) and financier Megan Ellison have optioned the rights to a New York Times Magazine piece about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The story was written by Times executive editor Bill Keller and was published online on January 26th (you can click here to read it). The article details The Times and The Guardian’s dealings with Assange and the WikiLeaks organization. Boal has not yet committed to writing a script based on the Times Magazine’s piece. He is currently teamed with Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow to do an untitled indie thriller followed by the larger drama Triple Frontier starring Tom Hanks.
The Wrap reports that this is the latest of several Assange-based films in the work. Documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney is doing a film on Assange, and Josephson Entertainment and Michelle Krumm Productions have optioned Andrew Fowler’s upcoming biography on the WikiLeaks chief.
by Jason Barr Posted: January 21st, 2011 at 2:37 pm
Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side and personal favorite Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) has been tapped by Universal Pictures to direct/produce a documentary about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. If you’re familiar with any of Gibney’s previous work, you may have noticed that the filmmaker often receives aid from his subjects in telling their own story (see Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer for the most recent proof). However, as Variety points out, it’s not currently known whether or not Assange will participate in Gibney’s film.
In case you believe you’re experiencing déjà vu, you’ll be comforted to know that Gibney’s documentary is not the same as the Julian Assange biopic we reported on yesterday. Well, except for the fact that they’ll both be about Assange and his WikiLeaks operation. Other than that, they’re probably a lot different. Well, sort of. Maybe? We can hope…
by Jason Barr Posted: January 20th, 2011 at 5:02 pm
Remember that guy who leaked all of that classified government information and caused a big stir? If for some reason the memory is currently escaping you, you’ll soon have a movie to remind you of Julian Assange and his Wikileaks operation. According to Variety, Josephson Entertainment and Michelle Krumm Productions have optioned the rights to a Julian Assange biopic.
The film, which is to be based on the upcoming Andrew Fowler biography The Most Dangerous Man in the World, is being developed as a drama/thriller. Although in its infancy, producer Barry Josephson is already likening the film to 1976′s four-time Oscar-winner All the President’s Men as “this generation’s suspenseful drama with global impact.” In addition to covering Assange’s recent publicity, the film (like Fowler’s biography) will dip all the way back into Assange’s childhood and cover major events leading up to his Wikileaks project. As of now, there is no word on the film’s desired release date.