WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is making headlines once again and this time his target is The Fifth Estate star Benedict Cumberbatch and DreamWorks. In a letter addressed to Cumberbatch, dated January 15, 2013, Assange describes his utter distaste for Cumberbatch's latest big-screen project, in which the Brit actor plays the mastermind behind the controversial whistleblower website. The correspondence was a result of Cumberbatch's request to meet Assange before principal photography began for The Fifth Estate.
"I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this film is a good film," wrote Assange."I do not believe it is going to be positive for me or the people I care about. I believe that it is going to be overwhelmingly negative… it is based on a deceitful book by someone who has a vendetta against me and my organization."
Assange then turns his attention to DreamWorks, "There are dozens of positive books about WikiLeaks, but DreamWorks decided to base its script only on the most toxic. So toxic is the first book selected by Dreamworks that it is distributed to U.S. military bases as a mechanism to discourage military personnel from communicating with us. Its author is publicly known to be involved in the Dreamworks production in an ongoing capacity."
In an interview with Mashable, director Bill Condon said the film is "in no way an attack on WikiLeaks," but rather "a celebration of WikiLeaks and what it set out to do."
Cumberbatch has been public about wanting to meet with Assange. In an interview with Vogue, the actor expressed his concern about the portrayal of Assange, saying the film was "setting [Assange] up as this antisocial megalomaniac." He later told the Guardian that he was worried the film would "cast Assange as some kind of cartoon baddie."
Assange ends his letter by encouraging Cumberbatch to reevaluate his stance on the film and the consequences that come with his starring role.
"Consider the consequences of your cooperation with a project that vilifies and marginalizes a living political refugee to the benefit of an entrenched, corrupt and dangerous state. Consider the consequences to people who may fall into harm because of this film," wrote Assange. "You will be used, as a hired gun, to assume the appearance of the truth in order to assassinate it… I believe that you should reconsider your involvement in this enterprise."
Assange is currently residing inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, thanks to diplomatic immunity, after U.K. authorities agreed to extradite Assange to Sweden to face sexual assault charges.
Read Assange's complete letter here.
The Fifth Estate hits theaters October 18.