Julian Assange goes on a spoiler-filled rant about his bio-pic starring Cumberbatch

Just a few days after the first image of The Fifth Estate was released, Julian Assange has blasted the film. I know many of you don’t care, but I laughed at this story. First, some backstory: Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as Julian Assange late last year and the film – based on a book by one of Assange’s one-time collaborators – was quickly greenlighted and it has a firm December release (and likely an awards season push). The studio wants The Fifth Estate to be a contender, for sure, but they also want to be the first Assange film out of the gate. There are several Assange projects at various studios, but this is the first one, and the first image – of Benedict Cumberbatch in his creepy Assange finest – was released so quickly because of this.

Meanwhile, the real Assange languishes in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. If he leaves “Ecuadorian soil” he will immediately be arrested and transferred to Sweden, where he will be put on trial for his various rape charges – just FYI: the actual charges fall under the “sexual misconduct” or “sexual assault” categorization, but the “rape” term definitely gets thrown around a lot more, maybe because he’s totally a creep or maybe because of some kind of CIA plot (or a little bit of both). Beyond the Swedish authorities, the CIA would love to get their hands on Assange and the FBI would love to prosecute him for a whole host of hacking and trafficking in stolen property charges. And then some. So Assange can’t leave the embassy, but he still gets to hack into whatever computer he wants, and he gets to publicly discuss his first bio-pic:

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has voiced his dissatisfaction with a new film profiling his development of Wikileaks and the outing of secret information which made him famous. Speaking to Oxford University students via a video linked from his asylum at London’s Ecuadorian embassy, Julian Assange dubbed the movie a “massive propaganda attack” and questioned the accuracy of “West Wing” writer Josh Singer’s script.

Assange referenced specific scenes from the script, notably an early sequence inside an Iranian military compound that clearly displays nuclear symbols, reports The Guardian.

“How does this have anything to do with us? It is a lie upon lie,” he said. “The movie is a massive propaganda attack on WikiLeaks and the character of my staff.”

Assange added that “Estate” was “fanning the flames” of war and contained “a lie” about meetings between US agents and scientists.

“The Fifth Estate” focuses on the early days of Wikileaks and is based on former Wikileaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s 2011 book Inside Wikileaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website.

Assange held what he said was a copy of the film’s script in his hand throughout the talk, though he didn’t show it to camera.

Condon had issued a statement via the film’s distributor Dreamworks, which said: “It may be decades before we understand the full impact of WikiLeaks and how it’s revolutionised the spread of information. So this film won’t claim any long view authority on its subject, or attempt any final judgment.

“We want to explore the complexities and challenges of transparency in the information age and, we hope, enliven and enrich the conversations WikiLeaks has already provoked.”

[From The Global Dispatch]

Does anyone else think it’s funny that Julian Assange managed to get his hands on a leaked script for his bio-pic and that he’s issuing spoiler-filled statements about the script? I think it’s funny. One year, he’s getting one of the most enormous classified document dumps in the history of government secrecy, and the next year he’s getting leaked the script to his bio-pic. And it feels like he’s trying to encourage people not to see the movie by giving away spoilers, but really he wants people to see the film, even if he is more attractive than Benedict Cumberbatch.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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41 Responses to “Julian Assange goes on a spoiler-filled rant about his bio-pic starring Cumberbatch”

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  1. allons-y alonso says:

    False. Assange isn’t more attractive than The Batch IMO.

    Assange is just an entitled twit who isn’t willing to take the negative ramifications brought about by WikiLeaks.

    • T.Fanty says:

      Yes. To all points. He just oozes this sense of entitlement. I’m ambivalent about wiki leaks: there is a legitimate justification for transparency, but an equally good argument for opacity in military operations. It’s an important conversation. I just think that Assange skipped over that aspect if what he did in order to promote himself as a radical freedom fighter. He’s turned out to be a little disappointing.

      And, oh h@ll no, to the more attractive than Cumby aspect.

    • Lulu says:

      What negative ramifications? The truth?

      This entitled twit did more for democracy than anyone in the past five years.

      The military may deserve some opacity, but all that crap that came out about it was horrific.

      Excellent brainwashing, sweetie.

      • allons-y alonso says:

        I am all for people wanting to make politicians and organisations more transparent don’t get me wrong, I think in that respect Wiki Leaks is a very polarising and pivotal movement.

        On the flip side, Assange’s actions have directly put the lives of others at risk (eg the reports of Bradley Manning being tortured). I am also appalled that my own government refuses to help Assange. The Australian government has failed to protect one of their own. So, no i don’t think there’s any brainwashing here. I can see the bigger picture :)

      • T.Fanty says:

        Oh, I am way too hungover to get into an online argument with someone who decides that the ultimate way to close an argument is to be patronizing.

        However, if you read properly, you will see that neither of us entirely condemned wikileaks. However, “the truth” always comes with negative ramifications. Military operations require brutality and ideological ugliness, because the playing field is not level. History has taught us time and time again that the team that plays by the rules doesn’t win (especially British military history – check out WWI). I’m certainly not saying that we don’t need an open dialogue about the abhorrent abuses that occur, but we also need to be pragmatic about the nasty business of war. This is what Assange has abandoned in favor of a crusade on his own behalf. He’s moved away from the true conversation, and as a result, Obama still has a terrible human rights record, and nothing has changed.

        *crawling back to bed to comfort myself with the rather fine pic of Cumby from the top of the page*

        (p.s. sorry if I sounded p!ssy)

      • Faye says:

        Maybe you should stop drinking the “Assange is a hero” Kool-Aid. He helped democracy . . .how? By revealing the actual names of some of our sources in Afghanistan, innocent citizens there whose lives are now in danger? By revealing the identity of the high-profile African government leader who is trying to work with the U.S. to bring democracy to his country, and is now in prison (possibly will be killed) by the dictators running his country? Who is helped by that?

        I’m not even going to get into the fact that all the “secrets” he revealed were about America and its allies — mostly petty State Department cables that did nothing but embarass the State Department and jeopardize U.S. relations. If he’s so concerned about transparency and making the world a better place, where are the revelations about Syria, Iran, and all the other countries where the government oppresses and murders their own people? Imagine if he used his powers for actual good.

        Assange is financed, to the tune of millions of dollars, by some not-very-nice people. He is no crusading hero. And just because the U.S. government may have a beef against him doesn’t make those sexual assault charges false, and he SHOULD face those charges in Sweden – especially considering that Sweden probably wouldn’t deport him back to the U.S. It amazes me how people who claim to be so liberal and pro-women’s rights in other areas are willing to call the women who’ve accuse Assange “liars” and “tools of the CIA” just because they like Assange’s politics.

      • Amelia says:

        Assange has done nothing for democracy. He deserves to be locked up and face the charges for the sexual assaults in Sweden. Slimey git.
        In no way does leaking sensitive information make him some sort of revolutionary freedom fighter or spokesperson for democracy – it makes him a reckless idiot, who thinks nothing of putting other people’s lives in danger at the expense of ‘getting the truth out there’. As Faye mentioned, why doesn’t he use his powers for good instead of leaking what he knew would be inflammatory ‘secrets’ about a country that isn’t a dictatorship and doesn’t order the murder of it’s citizens?
        This ridiculous sense of entitlement about what our military and security services get up to baffles me.
        Feel better, T. Fanty, I find crackers and flat lemonade works wonders with a hangover :)

      • allons-y alonso says:

        T. Fanty
        No, not pissy at all and i don’t mean to sound condescending. It’s just a gossip site. I’m sorry if it comes across that way.

        1 word for hangover. Kebab. They perform miracles.

      • T.Fanty says:

        Oh, Miss Allons-y, that wasn’t directed at you. I don’t like being dismissed as brainwashed. I’m a sort of professional historian, and take much offence at the implication that I am not being objective.

        Flat lemonade sounds good for my shameful Tuesday morning hangover. I’m currently trying to get little Fanty to school and not vomit while tiny baby Fanty bounces up and down on my tummy, sticking in tiny elbows. I’m thinking that my diet today might consist entirely of tea and ginger nuts (and now, we’re back to Cumby…).

      • allons-y alonso says:


        *blush* I read through everything again and realised. It’s too damn late in the evening for this.

        You’re an historian? How cool! I’m trying to break into museums and archaeology. I don’t like thinking I’m not being objective either.

        Oh, and here is something extra for the hangover

      • Amelia says:

        Good choice of gif, Alonso :)
        I find the Cumby with Baby photo quite therapeutic at times, too, now where’s it disappeared to…?
        EDIT: Found it!

      • Faye says:

        Amelia, thanks ever so much for that pic of Cumby & the baby. That makes up for all the Assange pics :) .

      • Leen says:

        Faye – I cannot speak for other countries but I can speak for mine. Wikileaks have exposed the Palestinian Authority’s lack of democratic participation. They were prepared to sell of many of the land and rights of the people without any consultation/referendum of the general population. That to me was an exposure of how our leadership was disconnected from reality and the grievances of the population it was supposably representing. In addition, the new Syria files exposes how some telecommunications company collaborated with the government during the Arab Spring (and now the Humanitarian disaster in Syria is evident).

        Now I am not a fan of Julian Assange, and I will admit I am not a huge fan of militaries or armies since I have had terrible experience with them myself (as a civilian, and growing up under a military occupation, you sort of automatically hate it). In that sense I am supportive of leaking information relating to the military (such as torture conducted, and any potential illegal activity in the eyes of International Law). I am not necessarily in favor of leaking information related to the military, just for the fun of it.

        As for your comment about Iran and Syria, he already did that. Syria Files has documents from 2006-2012 which includes personal emails between Bashar Al-Assad and Asma Al-Assad, as well as companies who collaborated with Assad that was instrumental in massacring the protestors.
        Wikileaks also revealed that Iran experienced a nuclear accident, which pretty much sealed the deal that they have developed a nuclear reactor. Also they revealed that many Arab countries were asking the US to lead strikes against Iran (which begs the question, who is Iran’s real enemy, USA or Saudi Arabia? I really do think if Iran would ever to strike against anybody, it would be against, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries, not Israel).

        To be honest, I think Wikileaks are valuable, the only thing that makes me hate it is Assange himself. People who face potential sexual assault and misconduct get an automatic side-eye from me.

      • T.Fanty says:

        @ Leen,

        Thanks for sharing such a specific and relevant perspective. Unfortunately, Assange has hijacked wikileaks’ public front, and made it all about him. And as he is polarizing, it makes it hard to objectively evaluate the political issues (and ramifications) that emerge from wikileaks. Much as I loathe Assange, I also do wonder about the veracity of the sexual assault claims. As long as the focus is there, and women are automatically giving him the side-eye, the focus will never be on the ethical concerns about wikileaks. Ultimately, Assange’s agenda is self-defeating.

      • Mira says:


        You are right about Saudi Arabia and its growing insecurities about the potential of Iran becoming a regional power. A lot of this is about the Shai-Sunni power struggle within the region. Iran is a Shiite nation and the Shia ascendency is seen as a threat by the Sunni Arab countries. This was the same fear during the Iranian revolution in 1979 – that the revolution would be exported in the region. Iran and Saudi nations fund the sectarian violence in Pakistan too.

      • EscapedConvent says:


        I see I am late for the party, but I must ask: Would that be the very same baby ginger who is going to help lure Cumby into that butterfly net we’ve been talking about? This sounds like a lovely little ball of ginger energy!

        I hope you are feeling better, & can maybe have a nice hot toddy? They can fix almost anything :-)

    • allons-y alonso says:

      All neck! :) It’s ridiculous to slightly envy a scarf.

      • T.Fanty says:

        @ allons-y,

        That’s so cool! You’re like our own CB Indiana Jones! I hope you have a hat and bullwhip, too.

        And thanks for the Cumby pics. The scarf gif is a bit spectacular.I feel harmony slowly returning to my universe…

  2. Bored suburbanhousewife says:

    I think Assange should drop the focus of massive leaks of secret government information and devote his time to massive leaks of secret juicy Hollywood gossip.

    • T.Fanty says:

      I think he might be okay with that, too.

      Plus, I would totally watch that before I would watch Pimp Mama Kris’ show.

    • Faye says:

      I can co-sign on that :) . It wouldn’t hurt innocent people, and would give Assange what he really wants, which is tons of attention.

  3. CF says:

    Gosh are we really surprised that this guy can’t keep a secret? Regardless of whether you think what he did helped or hurt democracy, he just seems totally motivated by self interest, with a huge ego, and that obviously leaks over to his treatment of women as well.

  4. stellalovejoydiver says:

    I would be pissed too if the Alienlizard would play me.

    I think Assange would face the sexual assault charges if he would get guaranteed that he after the trail he won´t be deported to the U.S.

    Also yeah at Daniel Brühl playing Domscheit-Berg, he is great.

  5. truthful says:

    Patch is not my cup of tea but Assange is NOT more attractive than he is…

    no way no how.

  6. mln76 says:

    Batch’s Assange appears to have none of the skeavy charisma of Assange (yes I find him a bit hot shamefully so) he just looks nerdy and earnest. As for Assange he is just showing his ego and hypocrisy by criticizing this. As others above have pointed out more eloquently above his intentions suck. But I do think the rape charges are a bit trumped up as an excuse to get him extradited. (Anyone who knows more please illuminate me I’m open to be proven wrong

    • Tish says:

      That is why I am going to wait for the trailer before judging. Cumby looks weird but when the guys is in motion and when he turns on his charm, he is something to behold.

      • mln76 says:

        That’s why I specifically said appears I don’t have the hots for Batch like some but he does have undeniable charisma onscreen so it’s completely possible it just didn’t translate in stills.

    • Kate says:

      this is from the Independent newspaper, written by a strongly left-wing journalist who in other ways strongly supports what Assange has done: Assange’s lawyer described the allegations of the other woman in graphic detail in court. As he tried to penetrate her without a condom, she alleges, she repeatedly attempted to avoid penetration: her claim is that she tried “several times to reach for a condom which Assange had stopped her from doing by holding her arms and bending her legs open and try to penetrate her with his penis without using a condom”.

      Many of his supporters argued that this would not constitute rape according to English law, which is simply untrue. Our High Court ruled that: “It is clear that the allegation is that he had sexual intercourse with her when she was not in a position to consent and so he could not have had any reasonable belief that she did.”


      And then there was the having sex with a sleeping woman (again without using a condom despite knowing she always insisted on one).

      Two High Court hearings in the UK said that was rape. Wouldn’t you?

      • Dap says:

        The things is that those women had only great things to say about their night with Assange (and they very publicly bragged about it) until they discovered each other existence.

      • Jess says:

        Assange denies those claims and gave a different version of events to police in Sweden during questioning.

        For the UK hearings his lawyers could only respond to the allegations and couldn’t even mention the fact that their client says he didn’t do any of it, as it wasn’t about proving Assange’s guilt or innocence, just whether the allegations were enough to extradite over.

  7. ms.steel says:

    all the photos above creep the hell out of me.

  8. Tish says:

    Birgitta Jonsdottir told the Wikileaks official Twitter account that “the Iran scene has been written out, plus the name has been changed. Come with constructive ideas how to improve it”. Also tweeting that Assange does not possess the latest version of the script.

  9. TheOriginalKitten says:

    Nightmares from that header pic of Cumby…ugh.

  10. Tish says:

    …even if he is more attractive than Benedict Cumberbatch…

    WHAT. I know Cumby looks like an alien but I will pick him any day rather than J.Ass.

  11. GeeMoney says:

    Julian Assange is a tool. Benedict rocks. I love him!

  12. Dap says:

    Long hair simply don’t work on Cumby. And since Assange has short hair, it’s useless anyway.

    • EscapedConvent says:

      Agree. I don’t understand the long wig at all. If Cumby is going to play him, can they not get the hair right?!

  13. binturong says:

    Check this out: http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/09/07/swedens-shame/

    This is a great thread–from drooling over Cumby to analyzing Wikileaks to making an analogy with Palestine and back to drooling over Cumby.

    (Hey Kaiser, I’m happy to feed you info for new columns :) )

  14. KellyinSeattle says:

    Last pic: awful hair!!