The controversial website has a controversial movie to match.
The Fifth Estate – the WikiLeaks movie already denounced by Julian Assange himself – has its first trailer, in which we see Benedict Cumberbatch star as the founder of the controversial website. The film "traces the heady, early days of WikiLeaks, culminating in the release of a series of controversial and history changing information leaks," say the film's studio, DreamWorks, and is out on October 11th in the U.K.
The Fifth Estate tells the story of WikiLeak's historic rise
The film doesn’t just chart the astounding journey taken by Assange and his website, but also the enigmatic Australian’s relationship with Daniel Domscheit-Berg. The pair were friends and colleagues in a doomed union that saw the website’s influence drive a wedge between them. It’s as much a personal story as it is a WikiLeaks story.
"The website's overnight success brought instant fame to its principal architects, but as their power expanded across the globe, Daniel grew increasingly disillusioned with Julian's questionable tactics and ethics,” says the film’s official synopsis. “The rift between the two friends became irreparable and their ideological differences tore them apart, but not before they revolutionised, for better and worse, the flow of information to news media and the world at large.”
Tucci and Linney play James Boswell and Sarah Shaw
Assange described the film as "massive propaganda attack" during a video-linked talk to students at Oxford University, according to The Guardian. He asserted that Condon's film opens with scenes inside a military base in Iran, where nuclear symbols could clearly be seen.
This, according to the WikiLeaks founder was an attempt to go about "fanning the flames" of war. "How does this have anything to do with us? It is a lie upon lie," he said. "The movie is a massive propaganda attack on WikiLeaks and the character of my staff."
Cumberbatch's Australian accent is surprisingly subtle and accurate
While The Fifth Estate is a theatrical imagining of the WikiLeaks story, Alex Gibey’s We Steal Secrets – which is out now in cinemas – represents a documentary style recount. Apart from the absence of an interview with the man himself – Assange allegedly demanded $1m for an interview – the film has been received extremely well, with some commentators suggesting it unfolds like a mainstream thriller, with the terrifying caveat being that the events are entirely based on fact. It has also been lauded for putting Bradley Manning at the centre of the story.
Bruhl and Cumberbatch lead the movie
Starring Alicia Vikander, Carice van Houten, Stanley Tucci and Daniel Brühl (who starred in Good Bye Lenin and The Edukators – he plays Domscheit-Berg) the film is being released just in time for Oscars consideration, and is being likened to The Social Network, which also told the story of a conterversial website founder, and bagged Aaron Sorkin the prize for Best Screenplay in 2011.