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WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Writes An Open Letter To Actor Benedict Cumberbatch About 'The Fifth Estate'

By Tyler McCarthy t.mccarthy@hngn.com | Oct 10, 2013 03:38 PM EDT

Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch could be up for a villainous role in "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice." (Photo : Reuters)

WikiLeaks founder, and inspiration for the upcoming film "The Fifth Estate," Julian Assange penned an open letter to British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, the star of BBC's Sherlock as well as the actor who will portray Assange in the film. In the letter, the enigmatic Assange praised Cumberbatch's talents as an actor but panned the film for its distortion of events.

The letter written by the real Assange, who is currently holed up at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, is dated Jan 15. 2013, according to Reuters. It was published on Wednesday on the anti-secrecy website ahead of the film's Oct. 18 theatrical release.

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The project is a joint venture by the Walt Disney Co. and Dreamworks. "The Fifth Estate," tells the story of the founding of WikiLeaks and the aftermath that ensued on the part of its founder.

He told Cumberbatch he is "fond" of his previous work and even admits that he thinks he would enjoy meeting the actor under different circumstances. However, he cautioned him to drop his involvement in the film saying "I do not believe it is going to be positive for me or the people I care about."

"I know the film intends to depict me and my work in a negative light. I believe it will distort events and subtract from public understanding. It does not seek to simplify, clarify or distil the truth, but rather it seeks to bury it. It will resurrect and amplify defamatory stories which were long ago shown to be false," Assange wrote.

Cumberbatch invited Assange to meet face-to-face before the film was even filmed in order to do research from the role and get an idea of the man he would be playing. However, his invitation was turned down.

"I believe you are well-intentioned, but surely you can see why it is a bad idea for me to meet with you. By meeting with you, I would validate this wretched film, and endorse the talented, but debauched, performance that the script will force you to give," Assange wrote.

Cumberbatch, 37, reportedly wrote an e-mail in response to Assange's letter, however that was not published as it was a personal message from the actor. However, a press release that was published along with the open letter describes the response as "courteous and considered."

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