Benedict Cumberbatch and Julian Assange are two of the most sought after people in the world, but for far different reasons. Cumberbatch is a British actor whose star is swiftly rising while Assange is the famed founder of the controversial WikiLeaks website and who currently can’t step foot outside of Ecuador’s London embassy lest he be detained for deportation to Sweden to stand trial for an alleged sexual assault. But the two men’s trajectories are colliding in the upcoming The Fifth Estate, with Cumberbatch playing Assange in the Bill Condon-directed film.
Assange has been a fairly divisive figure since 2010 when WikiLeaks published a number of U.S. military and diplomatic documents allegedly supplied to him by US Army Specialist Bradley Manning. While some saw his and Manning’s actions as traitorous, others viewed their actions as the patriotic acts of whistle blowers that may have lead to the Arab Spring. And it looks as if Condon’s film will be playing the story right down the middle, allowing the audience to make up their own minds about Assange, his story and motivations.