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WATCH: Benedict Cumberbatch Stars as Julian Assange in First Trailer for 'The Fifth Estate'

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood July 17, 2013 at 11:53AM

The first trailer for Bill Condon's "The Fifth Estate," starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Wikileaks icon Julian Assange, has landed. The film will chart the rise of Assange's notorious watchdog website and his status as a highly controversial international figure. Watch below.
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Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Fifth Estate"
Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Fifth Estate"

The first trailer for Bill Condon's "The Fifth Estate," starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Wikileaks icon Julian Assange, has landed. The film will chart the rise of Assange's notorious watchdog website and his status as a highly controversial international figure. Watch below.

Based on Daniel Domscheit-Berg's book "Inside Wikileaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website" and David Leigh and Luke Harding's "Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy," the film also stars Daniel Bruhl, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Alicia Vikander, Stanley Tucci and Laura Linney, among others. Scribe Josh Singer penned the adaptation.

Here's a detailed synopsis. The film hits theaters on October 18, in prime time for Oscar season. 

Triggering our age of high-stakes secrecy, explosive news leaks and the trafficking of classified information, WikiLeaks forever changed the game. Now, in a dramatic thriller based on real events, THE FIFTH ESTATE reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organization. The story begins as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) team up to become underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful. On a shoestring, they create a platform that allows whistleblowers to anonymously leak covert data, shining a light on the dark recesses of government secrets and corporate crimes. Soon, they are breaking more hard news than the world’s most legendary media organizations combined. But when Assange and Berg gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in U.S. history, they battle each other and a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society—and what are the costs of exposing them?"

This article is related to: Video, Trailers, Benedict Cumberbatch, Video


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.