WikiLeaks founder writes letter to Benedict Cumberbatch
05:00 AM, Oct 09, 2013
It’s the week of open letters.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has penned a message to Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the white-haired activist in the movie The Fifth Estate — and it has been released just days before the film comes out on Oct. 18.
The letter states why, “with inexpressible regret,” Assange turned down Cumberbatch’s invitation to meet with him to discuss the role before filming.
“I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this film is a good film,” Assange writes. “I do not believe it is going to be positive for me or the people I care about. I believe that it is going to be overwhelmingly negative for me and the people I care about.”
The DreamWorks biopic is told chronologically from WikiLeaks’ inception through its controversial release of 251,287 documents in 2010, and is partly based on the book Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World’s Most Dangerous Website by Daniel Domscheit-Berg (who is played by Daniel Bruhl).
“By meeting with you, I would validate this wretched film, and endorse the talented, but debauched, performance that the script will force you to give,” the letter continues.
USA TODAY’s Andrea Mandell reported that the movie got a standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival in early September, where Deadline’s Pete Hammond called it “this generation’s All the President’s Men.”
Later that month, WikiLeaks leaked the movie’s script, calling it “irresponsible, counterproductive and harmful.”