Benedict Cumberbatch is everywhere right now, moving from TV’s Sherlock to a villain turn in the new “Star Trek.” Now he’ll step into the complicated role of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, either a hero or a villain depending on who you ask. “The Fifth Estate” will document the rise of Assange and his infamous website, as well as the political firestorm that erupted after it got popular.
“Inglourious Basterds” standout Daniel Bruhl is on board as Daniel Domscheit-Berg. He was involved with the controversial site from the very beginning. His book “Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website” serves as part of the source material. “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy” by David Leigh and Luke Harding is also an influence on the screenplay.
“Dreamgirls” director Bill Condon will work with a script penned by Josh Singer, known for his writing on Fringe and The West Wing. It’s often hard, if not impossible for a movie to take on an issue that’s still ongoing. It will largely be up to history to determine whether Assange was a crusader for truth or just really good at screwing with the system. Condon acknowledges the moving target he’s trying to hit in a press release:
“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,” he said.
If Condon does a good job, this could be 2013’s “The Social Network.”