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WikiLeaks Releases Julian Assange's Letter To Benedict Cumberbatch

Jennifer Kuan |
October 9, 2013 | 4:27 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Julian Assange in "The Fifth Estate" (Creative Commons).
Benedict Cumberbatch plays Julian Assange in "The Fifth Estate" (Creative Commons).
WikiLeaks continues its assault of the upcoming Dreamworks picture "The Fifth Estate" by releasing a letter that asked the film's lead, Benedict Cumberbatch, to abandon the project.

Just before principal photography began for "The Fifth Estate" began, Cumberbatch reached out to Julian Assange, hoping to meet with him in order to improve his characterization in the film. The meeting was refused, and WikiLeaks published the full text of Assange's letter Wednesday.

Assange's concern with the film and how it would portray him is no news: in September, Cumberbatch told The Guardian that he and Assange has corresponded by email, but the details were left out. WikiLeaks also published a memo in September that details what they describe as "irresponsible, counterproductive and harmful."

In WikiLeak's press release, they reveal the entirety of Assange's letter, though their only comments on Cumberbatch's response is that it was "courteous and considered."

The letter, over 1,000 words in length, expresses Assange's concerns with the movie, including the book the script is based on, Daniel Domscheit-Berg's "Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World's Most Dangerous Website," and how the film depicts him.

Some memorable excerpts from the letter are as follows:

"I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this film is a good film."

"It is based on a deceitful book by someone who has a vendetta against me and my organization."

"I believe it will distort events and subtract from public understanding."

"You will be used as a hired gun, to assume the appearance of the truth in order to assassinate it."

"Your skills play into the hands of people who are out to remove me and WikiLeaks from this world."

"Consider the consequences of your cooperation with a project that vilifies and marginalises a living political refugee to the benefit of an entrenched, corrupt and dangerous state."

"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 film, premiering in the U.S. on October 18th, has been receiving mixed reviews from advanced screenings, and Assange was quick to add his own voice to the reviews, calling the film "a geriatric snoozefest" in the WikiLeaks press release.

ALSO SEE: Film Review:'The Fifth Estate' and Benedict Cumberbatch Is A Convincing Julian Assange

Reach Staff Reporter Jennifer Kuan here and follow her on WordPress here.



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