The conversations on DreamWorks’ Julian Assange film that Twilight Saga’s Bill Condon will likely direct is now with Benedict Cumberbatch playing the WikiLeaks founder, and Robocop’s Joel Kinnaman playing his former right hand man, Daniel Domscheit-Berg. The studio would not confirm this, but it seemed intriguing and dishy enough to discuss. DreamWorks acquired the books WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War On Secrecy, by David Leigh and Luke Harding, and Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange At The World’s Most Dangerous Website, written by Domscheit-Berg. Josh Singer wrote the script.
During the summer, word surfaced that DreamWorks had some loose discussions with Jeremy Renner, so we’ll have to see where this goes. Assange launched WikiLeaks in 2006 and established himself as a major thorn in the side of governments for leaking embarrassing diplomatic cables and secrets. He has been dealing with his own legal travails, as Sweden wants to try him for sexually assaulting two women and the U.S. wants to prosecute him for leaking classified documents, after it arrested an Army soldier for allegedly providing Assange with the goods. The film’s third act continues to unfold, but there is no shortage of projects based on the polarizing figure. Universal and Marc Shmuger have an Alex Gibney-directed documentary, while HBO, Universal and Megan Ellison are also working on films.
Cumberbatch is on a star track, and not just because he’s signed on to costar in Star Trek Into Darkness. The Sherlock star is doing August: Osage County, the Steve McQueen-directed Twelve Years A Slave and he plays The Necromancer, and, from what I hear, the voice of Smaug in Peter Jackson’s upcoming The Hobbit trilogy.