Benedict Cumberbatch in talks to play Julian Assange: OMG, perfect casting?

Yesterday, Agent Bedhead announced that August: Osage County had come to Oklahoma (where she lives), and that the local papers were being flooded with images of Benedict Cumberbatch. Can you believe this? MY Cumberbatch obsession reaches new heights on a daily basis, and BEDHEAD is the one to get a visit from Cumby?! It’s enough to make me unsheathe my slut-shank, except that Bedhead is pretty ambivalent towards Cumby, so it’s not like she’s going to stalk him and try to make him her beloved (which is what I would do if he came within 60 miles of me). Of course, I’m also trying to convince Bedhead that she should try to hook George Clooney when he comes to town for the same film. An example of the advice I gave her: “He would probably give you a few pieces of decent jewelry too (depending on how well you can choke him).” Bedhead + headlock + Clooney = MAGIC.

Anyway, back to Cumberbatch. He’s up for another BIG role, and it’s a role that an American actor was already associated with. Back in July, there were rumors that Jeremy Renner was going to play Julian Assange in an upcoming film directed by Bill Condon. Well, now it seems Renner is out and Cumberbatch is in? I could actually see this. SO MUCH.

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.

[From Deadline]

No matter how you slice it, I think Cumby is always going to be a better choice for Assange rather than Jeremy Renner, and I say that as a devoted fan-girl of both men. Assange is so peculiar, so wickedly strange, and Cumby has those vibes in spades. Plus, Assange has that bizarro accent, half-English, half-Australian with some Americanized inflections, and I’m sorry, I just don’t think Renner could pull it off. Cumby could.

Plus, you know… Cumby does look like Assange. Imagine Cumby with a white-blonde wig. This is happening.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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53 Responses to “Benedict Cumberbatch in talks to play Julian Assange: OMG, perfect casting?”

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  1. carrie says:

    Paul bettany was à better idea for me

    • EscapedConvent says:

      I can absolutely see Paul Bettany in this. Sounds perfect.

      Cumby can’t be in *every* movie, can he? I wouldn’t mind, but he’s going to drop from jet lag & exhaustion.

    • claire says:

      Yes! He would be perfect.

  2. dee says:

    Weird looking dude playing a weird looking dude. What more can I ask for?

  3. Izzy says:

    I like this Cumby casting idea. Having said that, don’t underestimate Renner for the role – he has the acting chops to pull off a truly remarkably creepy performance of Dahmer.

    • T.C. says:

      I think Renner could do it. If you look at the guy’s face he looks more like Renner than Cumby’s longer face.

  4. Amelia says:

    Ugh. As much as I adore Cumby and wish him all the success in the world, why are they giving that PoS Assange coverage?
    He disgusts me. If he was innocent, he wouldn’t have requested asylum from Ecuador.
    He’s probably hiding away somewhere laughing at this.
    That being said, Cumberbatch definitely has the acting chops to pull this off.

    • Hautie says:

      “Ugh. As much as I adore Cumby and wish him all the success in the world, why are they giving that PoS Assange coverage?He disgusts me. If he was innocent, he wouldn’t have requested asylum from Ecuador.”

      I agree.

      And I would not want the very unqiue Cumberbatch, to get the stink of Assange on him.

      At all.

      Nor would I want to see Renner get near that project either.

  5. Eleonor says:

    Cumberlach does not for me, but I admit he is a great choice for Assange who is charming, in a very weird way.

  6. Mel says:

    I don’t think he looks like Assange at all. Renner looked more like him IMO. I’m glad Renner’s not going to do the movie because I think it’ll be a turkey.

  7. Nina says:

    I like I like I like. Him or Paul Bettany. Third is Renner.

  8. Sara says:

    So sick of this whiny priveleged lizard creature and his psycho fans.

  9. marie says:

    meh, he could pull it off..

    I wonder if Bill Condon hates that he will always be recognized for the crap that is Twilight?

  10. alons-y alonso says:

    Hurrah! I humbly volunteer my Australian accent to Benedict Cumberbatch.

  11. Would Vincet Cassel Wear This? says:

    I don’t want to let the air out of your tyres but the telemovie about Assange has already been made in Australia.

  12. Eve says:

    I still think Jeremy Renner is a better choice — saying that as a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch.

  13. D1 says:

    I’m curious to see what position the film will take on Assange’s guilt or innocence on the sexual assault charges, and whether it will portray him as a fundamentally sympathetic/righteous figure.

    Relatedly, it’s pretty much guaranteed that if Cumberbatch takes the role, he will stick his foot in his mouth and plunge himself into 20 different PR disasters when he starts doing interviews about the film. I’m cringing already.

    • grabbyhands says:

      This. It seems like it would be wise for him to stay away from roles in which he is likely to say something incredibly stupid. Can you imagine what the press tour is going to be like for Twelve Years a Slave when he has another chance to bemoan his “perceived privileged” status? Yeesh.

    • Eve says:

      @ D1 and Grabbyhands:

      Yup, but that also means the posts/threads here on CB will be epic!!!

    • D1 says:

      You are both correct.

      In preparation for Celebitchy’s coverage of the “Cumberbatch Opens His Mouth and Awkwardly Terrible Things Come Out” tour, I’m going to go ahead and order 50 jumbo-sized bags of popcorn now.

  14. Ugh says:

    I am so sick of seeing this creature from outer space everywhere.
    And his fans are worse than beliebers.

    • london_kitten says:

      I totally agree. Benedict is such a poser. He isn’t even posh…his parents live in my area in a flat, they are two bit actors bouncing around little seen roles on tv.

      • Tim says:

        I dunno if poser is the right word. I mean, I think he’s in this weird crisis wherein he doen’t want to be considered posh because of pigeonholing. He even avoided the Oxbridge route for college and yet no matter how you look at it- in his way of talking, way of carrying himself, preferences, group of friends, etc. he’s posh through and through. See, even if his parents are just mere TV/ theatre actors they still earn more than the average Londoner and keep good company. Not to mention he’s public schooling. The social and cultural capital he got growing up is undeniably posh.

      • Tim says:

        See, even if his parents are just mere TV/ theatre actors they still earn more than the average Londoner and keep good company. Not to mention he’s public schooling. The social and cultural capital he got growing up is undeniably posh.

    • Grabbyhands says:

      There needs to be a “like” button on here. :)

  15. grabbyhands says:

    Sigh. I used to love him so much, but his inability to keep his noisehole shut killed my ladyboner. Although someone on his PR team must have gotten the message since there haven’t been too many print interviews lately. And the Tumblr crazies seem to be infiltrating everywhere which makes reading about him less fun.

    • Sonya says:

      What’s a tumblr crazy?!

      • EscapedConvent says:

        The Tumblr-inas are intensely weird. They have redefined the word “obsessed” for me. I try to keep in mind that they’re probably mostly teens/tweens, but the stuff they say on both Cumbers’ & Hiddles’ fan pages has made my jaw drop. They even do porn drawings of their guys. This is just the tip of the Cumber/Hiddles-berg. It’s freaky & I wonder if C & H ever see this stuff. If I were either of them & saw the tumblr pages about them, I’d barricade myself in my “London flat” ;-/ for a few years….

  16. Sonya says:

    I want to say, I never felt anything for this man other than he falls on the down side of attractive. Not horrible, but nothing good – that is how I felt. Then, because of this site I watched Sherlock Holmes, freaking amazing. Within minutes I was totally in love! He is awesome!

    • EscapedConvent says:

      Welcome to the Cumber-side, Sonya!

      I think a lot of us had that reaction. The process was kind of like this: Paul Marshall in Atonement=Yech! Then, Sherlock=Cumberbatched! Cupid’s crazy arrow out of the London blue….

      • Eve says:

        I guess it was CB’s posts that did the trick for me. I hadn’t seen “Atonement”, nor “Sherlock” (still haven’t) when I noticed him here.

        I kept seeing his strange face here — it helps that I’ve always been naturally inclined to pay attention to unique features — checked the links Kaiser posted and BAM! Before I could do anything about it, I was already irremediably in love with the most successful alien living on our planet.

        Or maybe it was his voice. My god, his voice…does things to me.

      • EscapedConvent says:

        GASP! You love him without seeing Sherlock?! Eve Darling, watch Sherlock (6 episodes in “”, plus the un-aired pilot). You can Cumberbatch yourself silly on this site. I think they also have The Last Enemy & To the Ends of The Earth (be prepared on this one–you will see the Cumberbum).

        But when you watch Sherlock—fasten your seat belt….;-D

      • Eve says:

        My internet connection is CRAAAAAAAAAAAAP for watching anything “livestream”. It keeps showing that “buffering” sign, you know?

        I tried to watch South Park’s episodes but it stopped ALL. THE. TIME. Really annoying, I tell you. I tried another website (for series) but when a box with the “.exe” file extension showed up, I gave up.

        All I have is Telecine (Brazilian movie channels) and HBO. I’m still waiting for “Stuart: A Life Backwards” (programmed to be aired on HBO Signature, on October 18 here). Oh, and Youtube videos — which allowed me to see his Cumberbum. But I’m greedy: I WANT MORE! MORE! MORE! I want his Cumberbelly, his Cumberpubes. Everything.

        P.S.: I’ve been talking about Sherlock with my geeky friends, to see if any of them will download it, enjoy it and lend me afterwards :D .

        P.P.S.: I clicked on “Stream in HD now” and this showed up:

        Also, I clicked on that black box and it showed the damn box with the “.exe” extension too — over a page showing a “eType” program or something.

        Sorry, I appreaciate that you posted that link, but I don’t think it’ll work for me. I’m “internet dumb”, you see.

      • Eve says:

        Ugh, I meant “appreciate”.

      • EscapedConvent says:

        @Eve, this is distressing! Let me see what I can do….

        Okay, you can watch The Last Enemy here: or

        This link to anything Masterpiece (PBS)

        Cumby has joked that he’s done so much on BBC that he may change his initials.

        BTW, this may have been the first time we saw Cumby in a love scene (first episode) & his Bitches & Babes were going nuts over this!

        To The Ends of The Earth was fantastic–PBS Masterpiece again. I watched it on Youtube. “Wreckers” is on YT also.

        You can see just about everything he’s done on YouTube—can you get YouTube without glitches? I know what you mean with the stops & starts–that’s annoying as hell.

        For some reason, I have not found Stuart: A Life Backwards to watch in its entirety. Just some long clips—but it looked good. It sounds like you’ll get to see this before I do—I shall await your review! Tom Hardy looked so convincing as this character–I could barely tell it was him.

        Well, I’ve gone on too much probably…but I hope some of this works for you. “” really is a fantastic site & it’s a Hot British Men treasure trove. It almost always plays without glitches. My internet connection is dodgy sometimes & it can be very frustrating. It doesn’t sound to me like you’re “internet dumb”—it sounds like the technology/connections aren’t working like they should be.

        I really hope you get to see Sherlock soon. You are in for a great time. It’s not just the Cumberbatchness–the whole thing is fantastic. Fabulously written, great actors, true suspense—it’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen, & I thought that before the Cumby-Bug bit me.

        Enjoy! :-}

      • Eve says:

        Thank you, dear! Most of the time I can watch things on Youtube without major problems (it’s a shame that you have to watch everything in parts but it’s better than nothing!).

        And don’t worry, I’m “internet dumb” indeed. Most of my friends know everything about finding, downloading and watching things online and I’m like: “Uh?”.

      • EscapedConvent says:

        @ Eve
        I don’t usually spend money on DVDs, & certainly not if I can watch things online, but in the case of Sherlock it just might be worth it! Just in case you want to check this, I’m sending this link to, as their prices are better than PBS Shop. But I’m hoping you can find a good way to watch things online, too.

        Usually I just knock myself out on YouTube. Have fun!

      • Eve says:

        I know. I’ve been checking Amazon — but importing anything right now would be really expensive (there’s the currency difference, plus taxes).

        I also checked a Brazilian website (Submarino) and, apparently, the first season seems affordable. But in any case, I’ll have to wait for my birthday and HEAVILY suggest friends/family should give me as a present :D .

      • EscapedConvent says:

        Eve, I hope you have a Sherlockian birthday then!

  17. dooliloo says:

    Oh boy. So Assange is having a biopic? Oh hell bawl!!! And Cumby better stay away from it, I smell another foot in the mouth disaster. No please don’t Ben don’t!

    • Eve says:

      What? It’s going to be awesome! Lots of bitchy, “foot-in-mouth-y” interviews leading to great snark-filled posts on CB.

      • EscapedConvent says:

        Yep. I agree. The snarky comments will practically write themselves.

        But Jeremy Renner does look like he would suit this part better.

      • Eve says:

        I decided to check ONTD posts about him and even though I think some are really unfair (judging him in real life based on how disgusted they were with his character in “Atonement”, for instance, is ridiculous), there are others who crack me up.

        I think Renner would be a better option, but I’m not complaining about having the chance to watch more movies featuring Benedict Cumberbatch :D .

  18. dooliloo says:

    Oh boy. So Assange is having a biopic? Oh hell bawl!!! And Cumby better stay away from it, I smell another foot in the mouth disaster. No please don’t Ben don’t!

  19. Lindy says:

    Work is CRAZY busy so I am behind on all my Celebitchy, boo, I miss hanging out here!

    But I had to comment quickly on this one–OMG YES KILL ME NOW PERFECT SO EXCITED.

    Ok, carry on y’all:)

  20. LucyOriginal says:

    “MY Cumberbatch obsession reaches new heights on a daily basis, and BEDHEAD is the one to get a visit from Cumby?!”

    “Bedhead + headlock + Clooney = MAGIC.”

    How did I miss this thread?

  21. Would Vincet Cassel Wear This? says:

    Seriously people it’s already been done. The movie will be airing on Channel 10 in Australia this Sunday. You’ll probably be able to watch it online on Monday.