The rise of WikiLeaks, particularly during the release of leaked diplomatic cables obtained by Bradley Manning, has proved irresistible to filmmakers, and now DreamWorks Studios says it's started filming The Fifth Estate, a dramatic treatment of Julian Assange starring Benedict Cumberbatch. We'd initially heard about the movie last year; now, DreamWorks says it "traces the heady, early days of WikiLeaks, culminating in the release of a series of controversial and history changing information leaks... 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."
Cumberbatch is widely known as the titular brilliant but unfeeling detective in Sherlock, making his turn as the lauded but reportedly eccentric Assange plausible even if he bears relatively little physical resemblance. Daniel Brühl of Inglourious Basterds is starring as Daniel Domscheit-Berg, an activist and former WikiLeaks spokesman.
"We want to explore the complexities and challenges of transparency in the information age."
The real Domscheit-Berg wrote Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website, one of two books that The Fifth Estate is drawing from, and the film will follow his character in its narrative arc. Bill Condon, most recently known as the director of both Twilight: Breaking Dawn films, will direct, in a move that's arguably more incongruous than Cumberbatch's appearance. The film is set for a release date of November 15th, 2013.