Julian Assange tried to talk Cumberbatch out of WikiLeaks movie
Benedict Cumberbatch has told The Guardian that Julian Assange pleaded with him not to take part in The Fifth Estate, the film based on WikiLeaks.
A 10-page email came from Assange in January, expressing his concerns about the film's potential effect on the reputations of WikiLeaks and Assange himself. He was also concerned with how the film would effect the future of Chelsea Manning, who is currently awaiting trial for leaking classified military documents to WikiLeaks in 2010. "It was a very considered, thorough, charming and intelligent account of why he thought this was morally wrong for me to be part of something he thought was going to be damaging in real terms - not just to perceptions but to the reality of the outcome for himself," Cumberbatch said.
Despite Assange's vocal opposition to the film, early reviews describe The Fifth Estate as a fairly balanced account of WikiLeaks' early years. Writing for Ain't It Cool News, reviewer Anton Sirius says the people involved in the film "neither lionize Assange nor drag him through the mud, instead casting him as a brilliant but flawed human being," instead criticising it for being "too conventional."
The Fifth Estate is released October 18. Watch the trailer below: