Assange Calls Out Actor in 'Wretched' WikiLeaks Movie

Calls Benedict Cumberbatch 'a hired gun,' in January letter

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 10, 2013 10:03 AM CDT

(Newser) The fight between Julian Assange and the team behind the upcoming WikiLeaks movie, The Fifth Estate, is apparently more personal than we realized. In a letter from January, Assange denies a request to meet with Benedict Cumberbatch, the actor who plays Assange in the film, noting, "I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this is a good film," the letter says, as per Variety. "Your skills play into the hands of people who are out to remove me and WikiLeaks from the world ... Surely you can see why it is a bad idea for me to meet with you."

"I believe you are well intentioned," he continues, noting he would enjoy meeting the British actor and is fond of his work, but "you will be used, as a hired gun, to assume the appearance of the truth in order to assassinate it. 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." Ultimately, he encourages Cumberbatch to reconsider his role in the movie; afterward, the actor did consider dropping out, Raw Story reports. The movie is due out next week. Click for the full letter.

In this July 30, 2013 file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sits inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.   (AP Photo/ Sunshine Press Productions, File)
Benedict Cumberbatch, as Julian Assange, left, with Daniel Bruhl, as Daniel Domscheit-Berg, in the WikiLeaks drama, "The Fifth Estate."   (AP Photo/ Frank Connor, File)
Benedict Cumberbatch as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a scene from "The Fifth Estate."   (AP Photo/Dreamworks Pictures, Frank Connor)
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