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.
THR reports that Brühl will get the role instead of McAvoy due to a breakdown in negotiations complicated by the actor’s commitment to X-Men: Days of Future Past. DreamWorks has fast-tracked the WikiLeaks picture and is looking to start shooting as early as January. The studio also picked up the rights to David Leigh and Luke Harding’s book, WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War On Secrecy.
In 2010, Domscheit-Berg was suspended by Assange and soon resigned from WikiLeaks, citing structural issues within the organization that he wanted no responsibility for and a failing in journalistic integrity. This divide was credited as being a major event leading to the massive diplomatic cable leak of over 250,000 documents in September 2011 and Assange’s eventual downfall.
THR also reports that Laura Linney (The Truman Show) is not in negotiations for a role in the film and has received no offer, though there is interest for her to play a CIA intelligence officer. The untitled picture was scripted by Josh Singer. Brühl will next be seen in Ron Howard’s Rush opposite Chris Hemsworth.