Assange Requested That Cumberbatch Abandon Role

Reported by Lily Davis.


New information has recently come to light about the latest role of Benedict Cumberbatch, predominantly of Sherlock fame. The English actor plays Julian Assange in Bill Condon’s latest feature, The Fifth Estate, which is scheduled for a US release this October. The film delves into the story of WikiLeaks, a story that has had a strong media presence for some time.

A day before filming began in January, Cumberbatch noticed an email in his inbox from Assange himself, pleading that he abandon the part. Over an extensive 10 pages, Assange wrote of how he believed it would be morally wrong for Cumberbatch to continue with the role. He thought it would harm perceptions of him and have a damaging impact on those awaiting trial or already in detention.

This was not even the first time Assange had spoken out against the production. He believed that the entire film was a “massive propaganda attack” on him and the WikiLeaks organisation.

Cumberbatch has told The Guardian; ” Of course [I wobbled]. The fact that it was coming from the man himself, the day before we started filming? Of course I would hear and feel the protests of the man I was about to pretend to be. I’m a human being.” However, ultimately his firm belief in the integrity and importance of the film meant ignoring Assange’s request.

After much thought Cumberbatch sent a reply to Assange stating; “Whatever happens I want to give as much complexity and understanding of you as I can.”

It will be interesting to revisit this once The Fifth Estate hits U.S. cinemas October 18th.

Source: The Guardian

– L.D.


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