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Julian Assange and WikiLeaks Movie Starts Production

by Sean P. Aune | January 24, 2013January 24, 2013 6:00 pm PDT

WikiLeaks Movie first image

The Fifth Estate, a movie based around the story of Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks site, has gone into production.

It would seem Hollywood has decided to turn to the world of technology for several of its upcoming movies as opposed to just doing comic book movie after comic book movie. JOBS has now received a release date, and Dreamworks has announced that production has begun on a movie around the controversial Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks site.

Entitled The Fifth Estate, the film will star Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange and Daniel Brühl as Daniel Domscheit-Berg and tell the tale of how the site came to be and became an overnight sensation for journalists. The story will continue through some some of its most controversial leaks, but no word if it will dive in to some of the personal issues Assange has had of late.

The movie is due for release Nov. 15 and will be distributed by Disney’s Touchstone brand. Judging by the early publicity still that was released along with the press info, Cumberbatch has nailed Assange’s trademark hair.

Drama Will Open in Theaters November 15, 2013

Participant Media Joins Project

LOS ANGELES, CA (January 23, 2013) – Principal photography has begun on the WikiLeaks drama “The Fifth Estate,” it was announced today by DreamWorks Studios. The film about the controversial website stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange and Daniel Brühl as Daniel Domscheit-Berg, as well as Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Peter Capaldi, Dan Stevens, Alicia Vikander and Carice van Houten.

“The Fifth Estate” will open in U.S. theaters on November 15, 2013 and be distributed domestically by Disney’s Touchstone label. Distribution internationally will be split among Disney, DreamWorks partner Reliance, and deals made through the studio’s partnership with Mister Smith Entertainment.

Following Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Brühl), an early supporter and eventual colleague of Julian Assange (Cumberbatch), “The Fifth Estate” traces the heady, early days of WikiLeaks, culminating in the release of a series of controversial and history changing information leaks. The website’s overnight success brought instant fame to its principal architects and transformed the flow of information to news media and the world at large.

Joining DreamWorks as a co-financier on “The Fifth Estate” is Participant Media. This will be the fifth collaboration between the two companies who previously partnered on Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” the 2011 Academy Award-winning smash “The Help,” “The Kite Runner” and “The Soloist.” With a focus on real issues that shape our lives, Participant creates social action and advocacy programs to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Some of their other films include “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “Food, Inc.,” “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “Waiting for ‘’Superman,’” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and the current Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, “No.”

Bill Condon (“Kinsey,” “Dreamgirls,” “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn”) will direct “The Fifth Estate” from a screenplay by Josh Singer (TV’s “Fringe,” “The West Wing”), based on “Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website” by Daniel Domscheit-Berg and “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy” by David Leigh and Luke Harding. The producers are Steve Golin and Michael Sugar, with Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King joining Richard Sharkey as executive producers. “The Fifth Estate” is a coproduction between Afterworks and FBO, with Hilde De Laere co-producing for FBO. The film is supported by the Belgian Tax Shelter for Audiovisual Production.

Said director Bill Condon, “It may be decades before we understand the full impact of WikiLeaks and how it’s revolutionized the spread of information. So this film won’t claim any long view authority on its subject, or attempt any final judgment. 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.”

About DreamWorks Studios

DreamWorks Studios is a motion picture company formed in 2009 and led by Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider in partnership with The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group. The company’s recent releases include Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones. The film has grossed over $150 million at the U.S. box office and has been nominated for twelve Academy awards including Best Picture and Best Director. Other releases include “Real Steel,” starring Hugh Jackman and directed by Shawn Levy, Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse,” based on Michael Morpurgo’s award-winning book and was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, and “The Help,” which resonated with audiences around the country and earned over $200 million at the box office and received four Academy Award nominations with Octavia Spencer winning one for Best Supporting Actress. Upcoming films include the comedy “Delivery Man,” starring Vince Vaughn, the WikiLeaks drama “The Fifth Estate,” and car racing actioner “Need For Speed.”


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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