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Jeremy Renner Eyes Playing Julian Assange For DreamWorks WikiLeaks Film, Bill Condon May Direct

by Kevin Jagernauth
July 23, 2012 8:35 PM
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Jeremy Renner Julian Assange

Remember when Julian Assange was a hot news item? While the media has moved on from the escapades of the WikiLeaks founder (who is now fighting deportation to Sweden to face alleged sexual assault charges), one of the many projects in the works about him has drawn some high profile names.

Over at DreamWorks, Jeremy Renner is taking a look at playing Assange, while Bill Condon is kicking the tires on directing. As you might remember, way back in the spring of 2011, the studio acquired the screen rights for "Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website" and "WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy." The former was penned by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a former high-ranking Wikileaks member who defected, uncomfortable with the organization's broad dumping of material without discretion. The latter book was written by journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding, who recount their dealings with Assange -- who once hid from the CIA in Leigh's house -- as they worked with him on the publication of a couple of the big document dumps that made waves last year.

Both Renner and Condon are interesting choices to take on the untitled film. For Renner, he'd get to try on an accent while also delving into a deeply complex character, while Condon will get to do something a lot meatier than the "Twilight: Breaking Dawn" films he's spent the last few years putting together. The tricky part of course, is that Assange's story is still on going as he seeks asylum in Ecuador, and as Wikileaks has recently found a way around Visa and MasterCard's attempt to block donations, and are on the way to becoming financially viable again, which could open up a more active chapter for the group.

But the other side of the coin is that there are a number of competing projects in development including one from "The Hurt Locker" scribe Mark Boal based on the New York Times Magazine article “The Boy Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest: Dealing With Assange And The WikiLeaks Secrets”; a documentary by Alex Gibney; another film based on the biography “The Most Dangerous Man In The World”; an HBO movie based on The New Yorker article "No Secrets: Julian Assange’s Mission for Total Transparency" and "Underground" about Assange's early days as a computer hacker, which already shot this spring. Take that Snow White movies!

We'll see if this actually moves forward, but if it's already attracting this kind of talent, it looks like Assange won't be fading from public memory any time soon.

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More: Jeremy Renner, Bill Condon

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  • [A] | July 24, 2012 9:20 AMReply

    Jim Jarmusch should play Assange.

  • Corinne Yaworski | July 24, 2012 5:42 AMReply

    I really am more interested in the fate of Julian Assange than seeing what actors and directors they are going to use. Why don't we concentrate on getting some bucks to Julian so he can get some help? Just like these people, capitalizing on someone else's life; one he may not have soon, as the US sounds.

  • Rebecca | July 24, 2012 2:49 AMReply

    Ew. I don't like Jeremy Renner. I don't like Julian Assange. Will not see this movie.

  • Zack | July 23, 2012 11:33 PMReply

    I'd have gone with Julian Sands. And apparently their parents agree with me.

  • jeangerard | July 23, 2012 10:52 PMReply

    Hollywood will have to scratch deeper than usual to uncover the cultural significance of what is really going on. Frankly, I would suggest a Euripides, a Goethe, a Shakespeare.

  • Glass | July 23, 2012 10:15 PMReply

    Bill Condon? How about someone like Paul Greengrass or David Fincher? A director with a respect for pertinent, true-life subjects.

  • AS | July 23, 2012 10:10 PMReply

    With Bill Condon directing I'm sure it'll be brilliant...

  • candy | July 23, 2012 11:48 PM

    Yay, maybe it'll be a musical!

  • Matthew Lingo | July 23, 2012 9:20 PMReply

    No, it's gotta be Colin Mochrie

  • benjamin | July 23, 2012 9:03 PMReply

    sounds interesting, i don't think this will happen though

  • how about no. | July 23, 2012 8:49 PMReply

    This pug face? I don't think so.

  • Ur mom | July 23, 2012 10:15 PM

    Nah, more like a bulldog face.

  • tristan eldritch | July 23, 2012 8:39 PMReply

    Wish it was Mann directing, would be a perfect gig for him.

  • JD | July 24, 2012 8:28 AM

    Agreed this is right up his alley. he would be able to bring a similar vibe as the Insider but I'm not sold on Jeremy Renner yet and if he can break out of the action man mould and do something more serious.

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