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It’s already known that WikiLeaks is not a fan of DreamWorks’ The Fifth Estate and now the letter Julian Assange wrote to actor Benedict Cumberbatch about playing him has been made public. In it, Assange warns the Sherlock star about playing him and while he says he would like to meet the actor one day, he tries to talk Cumberbatch out of playing him.
In the letter, which was published by the Guardian today, Assange thanks Cumberbatch for trying to get in touch with him, noting that no one else connected to the production tried to do so.
“If the film reaches distribution we will forever be correlated in the public imagination,” Assange wrote. “Our paths will be forever entwined. Each of us will be granted standing to comment on the other for many years to come and others will compare our characters and trajectories.”
He continues, “I hope that you will take such directness as a mark of respect, and not as an unkindness. I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this film is a good film. I do not believe it is going to be positive for me or the people I care about.I believe that it is going to be overwhelmingly negative for me and the people I care about.”
Last month, when WikiLeaks published the film’s script and included a list of what the film gets wrong, the organization discredited the two books it is based on. In his letter to Cumberbatch, Assange does the same. He writes:
“So toxic is the first book selected by Dreamworks that it is distributed to US military bases as a mechanism to discourage military personnel from communicating with us. Its author is publicly known to be involved in the Dreamworks production in an ongoing capacity.
“Dreamworks' second rights purchase is the next most toxic, biased book. Published and written by people we have had a bitter contractual dispute with for years, whose hostility is well known. Neither of these two books were the first to be published and there are many independent authors who have written positive or neutral books, all of whom Dreamworks ignored.
“Dreamworks has based its entire production on the two most discredited books on the market.”
Later, he tells Cumberbatch, “You will be used, as a hired gun, to assume the appearance of the truth in order to assassinate it. To present me as someone morally compromised and to place me in a falsified history. To create a work, not of fiction, but of debased truth.”
The Fifth Estate hits theaters on Oct. 18 and was directed by Bill Condon.
image: YouTube screenshot