Letter From Julian Assange To Benedict Cumberbatch Over 'The Fifth Estate' Posted On WikiLeaks
October 10th, 2013 6:30pm EDT
A letter written by Julian Assange that was sent to actor Benedict Cumberbatch, urging him to reconsider portraying him in new movie The Fifth Estate, has been posted in its entirety on Assange's WikiLeaks website.
Assange attempted to persuade Cumberbatch to drop the project, saying that he didn't believe he could be portrayed in a positive light and it would affect him and those close to him.
"I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this film is a good film," Assange wrote. "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.
"I believe that you should reconsider your involvement in this enterprise. Consider the consequences of your co-operation with a project that vilifies and marginalises a living political refugee to the benefit of an entrenched, corrupt and dangerous state."
The actor recently told New York Magazine that he had communicated with Assange in the spring, but wouldn't go into too much detail about their correspondence.
"He hates the idea of the film and asked me not to do it, and I said to him, 'Well, somebody is going to do it, wouldn't you rather it's someone who has your ear, who could steer the film to a place that's more accurate or balanced?' The tabloid image of him, what he fears is going to be promoted - that weird, white-haired guy wanted for rape - is so far from what we did."
The full letter (read it here), which was sent to Cumberbatch in January, is now posted on WikiLeaks with a message confirming the actor's reply.
"Cumberbatch's reply to this email was courteous and considered. The actor communicated to Assange that aspects of the film's script were troubling to him."
Back in May Cumberbatch also gave credit to the whistleblower, telling New York, "No matter how you cut it, he's done us a massive service, to wake us up to the zombie-like way we absorb our news."
The film, which opens on October 18, is described as "fiction masquerading as fact" on the WikiLeaks website.
Assange is currently living in exile at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
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