Julian Assange attacks Wikileaks film in letter to Cumberbatch
Assange calls Cumberbatch a ‘hired gun’ and accuses Fifth Estate film of ‘distorting events’
JULIAN ASSANGE has written an open letter to Fifth Estate star Benedict Cumberbatch declining his invitation to meet as it would legitimise a “toxic” film which intends to “bury the truth”.
Cumberbatch plays Assange in the film which charts the rise of Wikileaks and dramatises Assange’s crusade to expose corporate and government secrets. While Cumberbatch has received praise for his performance, the film as a whole has been panned by critics.
According to Assange, the film is based on a “deceitful book by someone who has a vendetta against me and my organisation”. The book, Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website was written by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Assange’s once-trusted second in command.
Assange says he admires the actor, and that the letter was meant as a “mark of respect, and not as an unkindness” towards him.
He warns Cumberbatch that he will be used as a ‘hired gun, to assume the appearance of the truth in order to assassinate it”.
The film will “smother the truthful version of events, at a time when the truth is most in demand”, says Assange. In order to justify the inaccuracies in the film, Assange says “it will claim to be fiction, but it is not fiction, it is distorted truth about living people doing battle with titanic opponents”.
Assange also warned that the film would cause far-reaching consequences for Wikileaks staff. “This film is going to bury good people doing good work, at exactly the time that the state is coming down on their heads”, he said.
He then went on to attack the film studio producing the movie. “DreamWorks is an extremely wealthy organisation, with ties to powerful interests in the US government”, he said.
DreamWorks has not responded to Assange’s attack, but Wikileaks issued a press release alongside the letter saying that Cumberbatch had replied with a "courteous and considered" email.
Fifth Estate will be released in cinemas tomorrow ·