With a tweet, a leak:
As WikiLeaks was never consulted about the upcoming Hollywood film on us, we've given our advice for free: It's bad http://t.co/B5jqrwqD8U
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) September 19, 2013
Nearly six days ago, WikiLeaks released what they claimed was a “mature version” of the script for the upcoming Dreamworks film The Fifth Estate, “obtained at a late stage during the principal photography.” They also claim that it compares with the final version of the film as it premiered in Toronto on September 5.
So, WikiLeaks leaked something else, and the world keeps turning. Where’s the controversy? It goes back to WikiLeaks head guru Julian Assange, who The Guardian reported exchanged a series of emails with actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Assange.
According to Cumberbatch, Assange sent him “a very considered, thorough, charming and intelligent account of why he thought this was morally wrong for me to be part of something he thought was going to be damaging in real terms – not just to perceptions but to the reality of the outcome for himself.” The WikiLeaks founder also called the film a “massive propaganda attack” on him and his organization.
Cumberbatch’s reply to Assange said something along the lines of, “Listen, this film is going to explore what you achieved, what brought you to the world’s attention, in a way that I think is nothing but positive. I admit to doing work because I’m a vain actor … yet I’m not acting in a moral vacuum. I have considered this, and whatever happens I want to give as much complexity and understanding of you as I can.”
The WikiLeaks post included not only the complete script, but an extensive memo detailing problems the film has with handling events, from allegations regarding harm caused by WikiLeaks to the effects the film may have on global perceptions of the organization: “There are very high stakes involved in how WikiLeaks is perceived. This film does not occur in a historical vacuum, but appears in the context of ongoing efforts to bring a criminal prosecution against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange for exposing the activities of the Pentagon and the US State Department. The film also occurs in the context of Pvt. Manning’s upcoming appeal and request for a presidential pardon.”
The memo went on to recommend that readers not treat the film as an accurate historical account of the WikiLeaks organization or the people who participate in it; it also suggested that the film was one-sided and told its tale with a political agenda that involved portraying Assange as a “cartoon baddie” and an “antisocial megalomaniac.”
If you’re interested in checking it out for yourself, the WikiLeak is here.[Image via Wikileaks.org]