Earlier this week we got our first look at actor Benedict Cumberbatch playing Julian Assange in the forthcoming WikiLeaks film The Fifth Estate — but Assange himself has some particularly harsh words for the production. In a speech before the Oxford Union, Assange revealed that a draft of the script for the Dreamworks project had in fact been shared with WikiLeaks, and he called it "a mass propaganda attack against WikiLeaks the organization, and the character of my staff and our activities, and so on."
Assange didn't stop there however; he went on to say that The Fifth Estate was also "an attack against Iran" that "fans the flames to start a war with Iran." In an interview with the Associated Press, Assange explained that the film's plot focuses on a mole in Iran's nuclear program who discovers the company has nearly completed building atomic weapons — something which Assange says is not borne out by documents WikiLeaks obtained. The film is also said to have the mole's identity revealed when WikiLeaks publishes classified documents — another falsehood in what Assange calls "a lie built on a lie."
The Fifth Estate is scheduled for release in the United States on November 15th. It's being directed by Bill Condon — known for his work on Dreamgirls and Twilight: Breaking Dawn — and Assange describes the project as the result of a "war of corrupt media" driven by powerful influencers. The antidote to this kind of influence, he told the Oxford Union, is the internet itself. Check out Assange's full presentation below.
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