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'Downton Abbey' Star Dan Stevens Joins That WikiLeaks Movie Starring Benedict Cumberbatch

by Kevin Jagernauth
December 20, 2012 5:24 PM
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Downton Abbey Dan Stevens

With the participation of "Downton Abbey" star Dan Stevens for the fourth season of the hit show currently up in the air, he's busy getting ready to make his Hollywood debut in a film that is bringing together an impressive amount of talent, to tell the tale of one of the world's most intriguing newsmakers.

Variety reports that Stevens is joining the forever untitled WikiLeaks movie, being directed by Bill Condon and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Bruhl and Alicia Vikander. 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 present Assange as a whistleblower 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 (Bruhl). Stevens will play a hacker friend of Bruhl's character, who works for the document dumping site.

This is a pretty nice transition/leap for Stevens, and if this is the kind of stuff that's crossing his desk, it's easy to see why he wants to leave the PBS show. But what will they do without him? Series writer Julian Fellowes isn't too worried about it. “I think [the Crawleys will] go on jogging quite happily through the 20s,” Fellowes told EW about the fourth season, saying he won't re-cast the character. “You know there’s always a little time jump [between seasons]. We did two years between [seasons] 1 and 2 because we only wanted to spend two years in the war so we had to start halfway through the war. Now we don’t have those imperatives. Sometimes you just have a few months so that there can be a few things that have happened in between that you can refer to, and have a slightly back-story for one or another character, but we don’t have the same imperative to leap forward.”

Production on the WikiLeaks movie begins next year. 

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  • jingmei | December 21, 2012 1:12 AMReply

    This Brit actor is awesome mainly because he's on the stage of off-broadway Heiress together with the more awesome "theater nerd" Jessica Chastain.

  • Arbed121 | December 20, 2012 7:53 PMReply

    If he's quick he should be able to do a bit of background research and save himself a lot of grief by shredding that contract before the ink has dried.

    Apparently, Wikileaks has already suggested a title for this movie. They're calling it Dreamworks' ANTI-Wikileaks movie, which means most of the market it's aimed at won't shell out to see this film.

    Maybe that's because Daniel Domscheit-Berg's book, which this film will be based on, is full of self-promoting - but easily spottable - lies. According to Der Spiegel, Domscheit-Berg is also heavily involved in the film's production as a consultant.

    This is the man who sabotaged the Wikileaks submission platform, stole money and unpublished whistleblower submissions from them, conducted endless interviews smearing Julian Assange, publicised where the passphrase to the unredacted cableset could be found (David Leigh, Guardian journalist's book chapter title!!!) and, to cap it all, DESTROYED 3,500 unpublished document that whistleblowers had submitted to Wikileaks, risking all to get the truth out to the public.

    Doubtless this is the man who this film will portray as the noble hero of information transparency, while Assange is portrayed as an narcisist and meglomaniac. The truth turned upsidedown.

  • Benedict | December 20, 2012 5:32 PMReply

    I think the film is now titled The Man Who Sold the World. It's on The Film Stage, they posted it today.

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