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Benedict Cumberbatch Confirmed To Play Julian Assange, James McAvoy Joins Him

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist November 9, 2012 at 2:57PM

Even though Julian Assange has gone from notorious hacker to exiled cause celebre (hell, Lady Gaga of all people paid him a visit at the Ecuadorean embassy in London), his saga remains fascinating and important. Which means Hollywood has come calling. And while there are a handful of competing features and documentaries out there, DreamWorks looks to be out of the gate first as their untitled project begins to take shape.
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Benedict Cumberbatch, Julian Assange, James McAvoy

Even though Julian Assange has gone from notorious hacker to exiled cause celebre (hell, Lady Gaga of all people paid him a visit at the Ecuadorean embassy in London), his saga remains fascinating and important. Which means Hollywood has come calling. And while there are a handful of competing features and documentaries out there, DreamWorks looks to be out of the gate first as their untitled project begins to take shape.

First rumored last month, Benedict Cumberbatch is now confirmed to play the WikiLeaks founder, while his foil will be none other than James McAvoy. It will be the third pairing for the actors who've previously appeared in the enjoyable and underrated "Starter For Ten" as well as Joe Wright's "Atonement," and this time, it will be Bill Condon ("Dreamgirls," "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn") behind the camera.

Based on the books "Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange At The World's Most Dangerous Website" and "WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War On Secrecy," and penned by Josh Singer ("The West Wing," "Fringe"), the film will apparently side with the narrative that Assange was a whisteblower who apparently let power get to his head and let the ethics of his work slide, much to the chagrin of his right hand man Daniel Domscheit-Berg (McAvoy, though Joel Kinnaman was previously rumored for the part), who also just happened to write that 'Inside Julian Assange' book. It's a juicy direction to take this story for sure, though one wonders about the reliable nature of the storyteller, who is also behind his own "competing" venture OpenLeaks.

But either way, it's a pretty crackerjack pairing and great material to work with, so we're definitely curious. No exact start date yet, but it will work around McAvoy's commitments to "X-Men: Days of Future Past." [Variety]

This article is related to: Bill Condon, Benedict Cumberbatch, James McAvoy


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