back to article WikiLeaker-in-chief Assange refuses to meet Benedict Cumberbatch

Julian AssangeTM refused to meet actor Benedict Cumberbatch when the Sherlock actor was preparing to play the WikiLeaker in upcoming movie The Fifth Estate because he didn't want to be associated with a "debauched" performance in a "wretched" film. In an email to Cumberbatch released on WikiLeaks [does that count as a leak …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I was hoping they'd cast Ian Lavender.

    1. Julian Taylor Silver badge

      Re: Cumberbatch?

      I was hoping the film was going to be directed by Uwe Boll ...

    2. Scorchio!!

      Re: Cumberbatch?

      Hah; "Don't tell them Pike!"

  2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    "...a more nuanced portrayal"

    "In The Guardian interview, which WikiLeaks linked to, Cumberbatch does say that he "worried that it cast Assange as some kind of cartoon baddie". But he said that was when he first read the script and that it "evolved into a more nuanced portrayal"."

    Yes Dom. I'm sure that's really comforting and "artsy" of you, and I am sure that your tortured ac-tors soul must have worried for a very long time over the morality of this, you poor, dear thing - I would hazard a guess that it may have even caused you... minutes, of turmoil; or... say... even an hours worth perhaps..?

    ... right up until you saw the size of the paycheque yah?

  3. M7S

    would the techie readership that occasionally graces the forum

    let us know in due course if it's as accurate as, say, the hacking and money transfer scenes in Swordfish?


    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: would the techie readership that occasionally graces the forum

      Let's not forget the use of NMap in The Matrix.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: would the techie readership that occasionally graces the forum

        Or even the graphics of the cooling towers at Woodlong !

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cumberbatch as Kahn

    My vote for a Golden Raspberry Award - he stank. Not a patch on the sophisticated performance of Ricardo Montalban

    1. HMB

      Re: Cumberbatch as Kahn


      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Cumberbatch as Kahn

        "I spit in your face"...or something.


      Re: Cumberbatch as Kahn

      Ricardo Montalban sophisticated? You must be joking. If anything, watching the two Khans side by side makes Ricardo look like a cartoon villan. All he needed was a mustache to twirl.

      He's a genetically engineered superhuman. He doesn't need a chest that looks faked. Everything can be understated rather than overdone.

      ...and yes I did watch the two of them back to back.

  5. HMB

    I was really looking forward to this film, but I've just read a couple of online reviews. Looks like despite a very promising premise and some great talent it's fallen flat.

    My understanding at present is that wikileaks has hosted genuine evidence of appalling events, perhaps even bad enough to be called atrocities, but that Assange really is a piece of work.

    If my understanding is correct I feel like this could have been such an interesting, complex blend of right and wrong, something really good, gritty and human. It sounds from reviews though like he really has just been turned into a cartoon bad guy with just a couple of token gestures towards balance.

    Can anyone recommend any other films to watch for this weekend?

    1. Annihilator

      "Can anyone recommend any other films to watch for this weekend?"

      The Bridge on the River Kwai?

    2. Professor Clifton Shallot

      "Can anyone recommend any other films to watch for this weekend?"

      High Noon is on Film4 on Sunday.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      However, on the plus side...

      Julian AssangeTM refused to meet actor Benedict Cumberbatch when the Sherlock actor was preparing to play the WikiLeaker in upcoming movie The Fifth Estate because he didn't want to be associated with a "debauched" performance in a "wretched" film.

      Personally, that has turned this film into a must see. If there had been any approval from Assange™ it would not have been worth watching IMHO.

    4. Don Jefe

      I think the entire premise is why it's fallen flat. The actual information published by WikiLeaks was of negligible importance, especially considering how much if it there was. All the attention they've received since then has been because of Asange's antics; not his glorious mission. Like watching a movie about the internal workings of FIFA that focuses completely on Gennaro Gattuso. The clown steals whatever interesting parts of the story were there.

      All in all, nobody much cares for perpetual antics. They can occasionally be funny or interesting, but they wear thin. Like the class clown who doesn't realize people long ago stopped giving him attention and he now has to take it, at the expense of everyone in class. After a while people just want to move on but the clown won't stop acting up. You can't take a person like that seriously. Someone who has no respect for anyone other than themselves and will take advantage of every person who gets involved with them. That's just not good movie material. Everybody knows at least one asshole like that at the office, who wants to go see a movie about it when you live with it everyday.

    5. Anonymous John

      Re Can anyone recommend any other films to watch for this weekend?

      The Great Escape? Which, come to think of it, might have made a better title for the Julian Assange film.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The OTHER Wikileaks movie


    7. Euripides Pants Silver badge

      Re: Can anyone recommend any other films to watch for this weekend?


      Hell Ride


      Or were you looking for something still in theaters? In that case, no, nothing to recommend.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Of course Assange has already starred in a movie ...

    9. Tom 11


      Guns of Navarone

  6. Lee D Silver badge

    "'Leaked' *cough* email says Julian wanted nothing to do with 'wretched' film"

    He's not the only one. God, do we really have to turn everything into a junky movie nowadays, and can we please STOP giving this guy publicity at all (negative or otherwise).

    Come out of your hole, face a fair trail in the UK on the UK crime committed (skipping bail) and then we'll talk about all the other stuff you're alleged to have done and who we hand you off to after you've been tried, convicted, sentenced and carried out that sentence first.

    Fact is, the stuff you leaked was pathetic and not worth your life, and certainly not worth the cost of watching you pontificate in your pseudo-jail. Now, Snowden - that I could get - he leaked items of worth but even he has realised that you can't just sit in an airport for the rest of your life at great taxpayer expense and expect anyone to actually be on your side.

    Go to court, like you're damn well supposed to. And go to European court, like you're damn well obliged to now all the i's are dotted and t's crossed in terms of a warrant for questioning. If you are convicted of rape, then you'll serve your sentence. A rape case has little need to censor or block anything which could be used to hide miscarriages of justice (and now EVERYONE will be watching for them). And then, if something "untoward" happens and there's even a hint of you being shuffled off to the US without proper procedure being followed, I will personally stand up and fight for you. But at the moment, you're just an alleged rapist on the run, skipping bail and costing me money. None of that is helping any of your causes (and most especially YOU) at all.

    1. Scorchio!!

      Indeed. However his behaviour will not change. He will stay there either until he is forgotten (and, as you correctly prognosticate, this 'film' will keep him in the public eye), or until he is forced to leave out of necessity (dental, medical), or (fat chance) his ethics wake him up. As the depiction in the film of Domscheidt-Berg says:

      "It's just you and your ego, the lies you tell to get whatever you want."

      Of that there is no doubt at all. Witness the pay wall fiasco, his hissy fit at the Guardian for publishing what he described as "his" (stolen) property, the broken contract for his auto biography, from which he broke off carrying with him a handsome advance, claiming foul when the publisher went ahead (naturally they wanted to recoup their losses and publish), then there is his lavish salary of some 80,000 stlg, and on and on it goes. I'll try to dig out the other bits if prodded, but these data are enough to prove that St Julie is interested in the money.

      I remain convinced that Julie is a tad rapey.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        All agreed with, until I remain convinced that Julie is a tad rapey.

        Quite simply, we don't know. And until his todger and him are in court there will be no certainty because I have a feeling there are some hard facts missing, if you pardon the accidental pun.

        His frankly desperate attempts to stay out of the hands of Swedish justice seem to suggest that the as yet untold girls' story may not be charitable for him.

        Now for the fun part: either Swedish outcome would now suck. If convicted, he's a rapist. If let off, it declares the whole bleating about a US vendetta a load of BS. Ah, sweet irony.

        1. Scorchio!!

          It was a personal statement, and YMMV. However, he is by the reports sexually hyperactive. Witness the report that he walked off with the girlfriend of a reporter. Witness the 16 year old mother of his son. Witness the (until recently) doe-eyed and naive women who have supported him, putting up bail, on legal teams, working on leaks. Something does not smell right here. That is my judgement, it is my personal opinion, I make decisions like this in my life as everyone else does. It is the way we survive. However, given his propensities, his criminal record and this repeat offence, that is to say he is an offender already, I see a behavioural profile, and that is an undeniable fact; once someone has built up, over many years, a profile for offending, for not following social rules and mores, there is the basis for more offending. I base this reasoning on my training, and would love to do an assessment on this most peculiar man, whose mother raised him to break the rules and educated him herself. It all adds up to a noxious cocktail, and that as I say is the basis for my reasoning.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Something does not smell right here

            Interesting you mention this - that too has been mentioned. But more in the literal sense.

  7. Maharg

    "DreamWorks has based its entire production on the two most discredited books on the market," Assange wrote.

    discredited by whom? Assange? I would say they are the ones I belive the most, Assange left Manning to rot once he had what he wanted from him.

    1. Scorchio!!

      Well, he did give him a little fiscal help for his defence. A little.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "the two most discredited books on the market"

    I thought those were "Battlefield Earth" and "Fly Fishing" (by J R Hartley)

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: "the two most discredited books on the market"

      You leave JR Hartley out of this! Poor old sod.

  9. Titus Technophobe

    In summary

    In an email to Cumberbatch released on WikiLeaks ….. Assange has claimed the movie "vilifies and marginalises a living political refugee to the benefit of an entrenched, corrupt and dangerous state"…… The white-haired one, who is still lurking in the Ecuadorian embassy, accused film studio DreamWorks of having ties to "powerful interests in the US government", …. script on the two most "toxic" and "biased" accounts instead.


    "I know the film intends to depict me and my work in a negative light. I believe it will distort events and subtract from public understanding. It will resurrect and amplify defamatory stories which were long ago shown to be false."


    So that would be an very accurate portrayal then ?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, he'd know all about being a debauched wretch I suppose, so he is entitled to confirm the view of his character in the film

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wot, no defenders?

    I'm disappointed not to see the usual people show up defending St Jules from all us evil people who speaketh badly about him. I guess the night is still young.

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: Wot, no defenders?

      You were down voted; what you want for nothing, rubber biscuit? (RIP John Belushi)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wot, no defenders?

        Of course I was downvoted - those are the votes I cherish.

        Upvotes are for beginners :p

        1. Scorchio!!

          Re: Wot, no defenders?

          Indeed, it is a badge of pride for me. Someone once looked up my profile and asked me what I thought I was doing, and did I notice how many down votes I have; I replied to the effect that the truth is not necessarily popular, and popularity does not make something true. As we found out in the USSR, as we found out between 1939-45, as the Venezuelans have been discovering, and so on.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "The following preview has been APPROVED for APPROPRIATE AUDIENCES"

    Useful. Thanks.

  13. Old Handle

    That's Odd

    I certainly didn't get the impression it was a negative portrayal from the preview. Although, like book covers, movie previews can be deceptive.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. David Gale

    Stand trial?

    Isn't it sweet how many of the locked away in an attic, neo-Con critics think that somehow justice is dispensed in a court of law? For goodness sakes, you're lucky if you get law dispensed in a court of law. Justice is for the movies...

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: Stand trial?

      Let's see. Your post is distinguished by its argumentum ad hominem content (use of the neo con smear), and generalisations about justice. It is of course rubbish. That there are publicised cases of miscarriages and so on does not mean that justice is never or rarely done, and to expect that the judicial system be perfect every time is to expect humans to be perfect, and I do not know of such a thing. Perhaps you do. Perhaps you are a paragon of such virtue, but no; you made generalisations and deployed the argumentum ad hominem. I would not want you on a jury.

  16. Thorsten


    Debauched? Does he really speak like that? He sounds like he is channelling Ignatius J. Reilly, another pompous ass, but much more funny. I bet his valve closed when he read about the film being made.

  17. MrRoland

    About the man not about the story?

    So this film seems to focus on weather JA is a good or bad guy rather than if what was uncovered needed to be prosecuted? Because if they can rubbish JA then the message can be rubbished as well? If it was written / directed by Noam Chomsky then id watch but it smells a lot of "we the military have the need to do not nice things - all in the public interest".

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