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The first production shots of Wikileaks movie The Fifth Estate show Benedict Cumberbatch playing Julian Assange.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate. Photo: DreamWorks


  Whether you like him or not, it’s going to be difficult to avoid seeing Benedict Cumberbatch in something over the next couple of years. The former English public schoolboy who first attracted attention as television’s Sherlock Holmes and appears in the Hobbit trilogy, has FIVE movies completed and awaiting release, including the much-anticipated Star Trek sequel.

   But probably the most interesting and attention-worthy are two he is in the process of filming, in both of which he plays real-life people. He will be portraying Brian Epstein in a Tom Hanks-produced biopic about the Beatles manager and he is currently filming The Fifth Estate, in which he plays Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

  The movie will depict the founding and early days of the controversial website. The first pictures of Cumberbatch as Assange have just been released by DreamWorks Studios.

   The screenplay has been written by West Wing screenwriter Josh Singer and is being directed by Bill Condon, who was also responsible for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. 

  Condon says of the film, “It may be decades before we understand the full impact of Wikileaks and how it’s revolutionised the spread of information. So this film won’t claim any long-view authority on its subject, or attempt any final judgment. 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.”





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