Now playing in theaters is director Bill Condon’s WikiLeaks drama The Fifth Estate. The pic centers on the relationship between Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) and Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch), as the story follows the early days of WikiLeaks, culminating in the release of highly controversial information leaks. I caught the film at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Condon has done a great job crafting a fascinating and entertaining look at WikiLeaks and the current landscape of news and information sharing. The Fifth Estate also stars Laura Linney, Stanley Tucci, Anthony Mackie, Peter Capaldi, Alicia Vikander, Dan Stevens, and Carice van Houten. For more on the film, read Matt’s review or watch these clips.
At this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, I landed an extended video interview with Bill Condon. During our wide ranging conversation he talked about the challenge of telling a story that’s still happening, balancing dramatization with facts, the level of interest in the film while it was in production, casting, his editing process, deleted scenes, and more. In addition, Condon talked about his extended cut of Dreamgirls that he’d love to release (it’s never been seen), his supercut of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Parts 1 and 2, what drew him to A Slight Trick of the Mind and how tough was it to get Ian McKellen to play Sherlock Holmes, and much more. Hit the jump to watch.
- :29 – The challenge of telling a story that’s still happening. Talks about focusing on the relationship between Julian and Daniel.
- 1:30 – Balancing dramatization with facts.
- 2:18 – How long was his assembly cut and are there deleted scenes? Says he cut out about eight entire scenes. Says he replaced some of those scenes with montages of cut footage.
- 3:31 – Will he put out an extended cut on home video? Says he has a longer version of Dreamgirls that he’d love to release.
- 4:30 – When he cast Benedict Cumberbatch, did he know how big of a fan-following the actor had?
- 5:12 – The level of interest in the film while it was in production. Says Assange hacked someone and got ahold of a version of the script that was a year old. He had a little anxiety about the dailies possibly getting out.
- 6:44 – The delicate balance of not taking sides in the film and instead laying out all points of view as fully as possible.
- 7:49 – The casting process. Says they knew they wanted Cumberbatch early in the game, but filling the Daniel Bruhl role was more difficult.
- 9:14 – Would he ever do horror or sci-fi in the future? Says he would love to. Part of the appeal of doing Breaking Dawn was the childbirth scene.
- 10:08 – The Twilight Blu-ray box set. Says there aren’t any additional scenes in Breaking Dawn – Part 2 because it was such a VFX-heavy film that they couldn’t finish those scenes out, but he hopes to eventually release a supercut of Part 1 and Part 2 together as one film.
- 11:53 – What drew him to A Slight Trick of the Mind and how tough was it to get Ian McKellen to play Sherlock Holmes?
- 12:42 – The release date of the Sherlock Holmes film and where they’ll be shooting.
- 13:10 – Casting the other roles in A Slight Trick of the Mind. Talks about developing both Fifth Estate and Mind at the same time.