Hollywood is known for its quick turn around in producing films on hot current topics so its unsurprising that only three years after WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange exploded on the news scene with the publishing of the Collatoral Murder video (that showed gunsight footage of the 12 July 2007 Baghdad airstrike where an AH-64 Apache helicopter killed numerous Iraqis among them were a group of journalists), that a movie is debuting about the early days of the whistle-blowing website.
The Fifth Estate premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this past week and not unexpectedly, questions turned to what Assange would think of the film.
Benedict Cumberbatch, who puts in a star turn as the Australian Assange, told the gathered press that he thought it unlikely that Assange would be backing the film. He said: “I’m not a betting man, but I reckon he won’t be particularly want to support the film”.
Questions also turned towards the sexual assault allegations made against Assange by two women in Sweden for which he is wanted for questioning in that country. As a result of this request, he is currently living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London having been granted political asylum by the country over a year ago. Cumberbatch refused to comment on the potential outcome of situation. According to BBC News, when asked he admitted that who knows how it will end, that the situation was “very complicated and I’m not a legal expert”
Cumberbatch added: “It’s to do with dealings behind closed doors for all of us, and I don’t have access to any perspective or information that would shine a light on some certain truth.” While he revealed that he would like Assange to have the opportunity to “carry on with his work,” he agrees that “due process has to take place, in whatever shape or form that happens”.
Check out our review of The Fifth Estate then form your own opinion when it hits cinemas in the UK and Ireland on October 11 and the US on the 18th.