Whatever your thoughts about whistleblower Julian Assange, you can't deny he's been an incredibly influential figure in turning the spotlight on governments and their nefarious practices. We've already heard part of Assange's story in Alex Gibney's extraordinary documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, and now Dreamworks has produced a biopic about the crusader for truth/self-serving traitor (delete where appropriate). Titled The Fifth Estate, the movie is based on two books, Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange At The World's Most Dangerous Website and WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War On Secrecy, and stars as the platinum-haired Australian and German actor as his former right-hand man Daniel Domscheit-Berg.
Here's the official synopsis.
Triggering our age of high-stakes secrecy, explosive news leaks and the trafficking of classified information, WikiLeaks forever changed the game. Now, in a dramatic thriller based on real events, THE FIFTH ESTATE reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organization. The story begins as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) team up to become underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful. On a shoestring, they create a platform that allows whistleblowers to anonymously leak covert data, shining a light on the dark recesses of government secrets and corporate crimes. Soon, they are breaking more hard news than the world’s most legendary media organizations combined. But when Assange and Berg gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in U.S. history, they battle each other and a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society—and what are the costs of exposing them?
The first trailer for the movie has landed, so check it out below:
Cumberbatch looks on top form as the softly spoken Assange and it will be interesting to see if The Fifth Estate portrays the founder of Wikileaks in a more sympathetic light than Gibney's We Steal Secrets.
The Fifth Estate will be released in theaters October 11th.