WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange has voiced fresh criticism for the upcoming Dreamworks movie The Fifth Estate, calling it a “geriatric snoozefest that only the US government could love.”
“People love the true WikiLeaks story: a small group of dedicated journalists and tech activists who take on corruption and state criminality against the odds. But this film isn’t about that. This is a film by the old media about the new media. Viewers are short-changed.
Step one: write WikiLeaks staff out of the story. Where is our primary spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson, three time winner of journalist of the year, who we deployed to war-torn Iraq? Where is our courageous journalist Sarah Harrison who spent 39 days protecting Edward Snowden in a Moscow airport – and is now in effective exile from the UK?
Step two: write the old media into the story. Instead of the exciting true story, we get a film about a bland German IT worker who wasn’t even there and a fabricated fight over redactions with the old newspapers and the State Department saving the day. The result is a geriatric snoozefest that only the US government could love.”
The Fifth Estate will be released in the UK on October 11 before a wider release in the US on October 18. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the role of Julian Assange, alongside Daniel Bruhl as former WikiLeaks spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg. The film itself is based in part on the latter’s book ‘Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World’s Most Dangerous Website‘, as well as the works of The Guardian journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding.
Assange blasted the film in January this year after reading a draft version of the script, calling it a “mass propaganda attack against WikiLeaks the organization, and the character of my staff”.
If you need a reminder, here’s a trailer for the film: