Wikileaks becomes a movie: ‘The Fifth Estate’

Daniel BrŸhl

“The Fifth Estate” will open in U.S. theaters on November 15, 2013.  This film is based based on the Wikileaks saga and 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.

Following Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Brühl), an early supporter and eventual colleague of Julian Assange (Cumberbatch), “The Fifth Estate” reviews the early days of WikiLeaks, culminating in the release of a series of controversial and history changing information leaks. It has been said that the website’s overnight success brought instant fame to its principal architects, not to mention quite a few legal problems too.  There are also claims that Wikileaks transformed the flow of information to news media and the world at large.

Immediately following Julian Assante’s arrest “cyber activists” hacked into many popular online sites such as PayPal, Amazon and VISA just to name a few to “punish” these organizations for their sanctions to Assante and Wikileaks.

WikiLeaks, as we earlier reported is an “anti-government, (not so secret) secrecy organization that collects  information and then releases it to the public (where and how they get this information is part of an ongoing investigation). Their founder and organizer was arrested in Great Britain after releasing 250,000 State Department documents in which US diplomats were, quite frankly less than complimentary towards their counterparts throughout the world. WikiLeaks’s Web site was reportedly responsible for posting of hundreds of thousands of secret Pentagon documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Once released, many other news organizations started picking up the story and began publishing articles based on the archived documents WikiLeaks released to them.”

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.

 Director Bill Condon comments, “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.”





Dreamworks Press Release