Like other quickly adapted films based on not-so-distant-past events (Zero Dark Thirty, W., Game Change) Bill Condonā€™s The Fifth Estate retells the rise of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks without the sort of historical distance that would require drawing reasonable conclusions. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Assangeā€”which is basically the European version of the ego boost Brad Pitt gave Billy Beane by playing him in Moneyballā€”with a white-blonde coiffure that might elicit some strange reactions from the Cumberbitches. The rest of the cast includes Inglourious Basterdsā€™ Daniel BrĆ¼hl, Stanley Tucci, Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, and David Thewlis, a group of talent that would only seem to further feed Assangeā€™s opinion of himself.

And yet, WikiLeaks is already firing backĀ over its disgust with the trailer. Assange described the film as a ā€œmassive propaganda attackā€ after obtaining the script in January, though this trailer certainly makes Assange seem like the same egocentric, gleeful thorn in the side of government that he comes off as in his television interviews. Beyond that, WikiLeaks has issues with whether a fabricated incident involving an Iranian source put in danger by leaked information will make it into the film. CondonĀ says it didnā€™t, though WikiLeaks responds, ā€œOur comments are based on the script used during filming, not, as the [director] Bill Condon falsely states, an old script (though we have them too).ā€

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