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WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Writes to Benedict Cumberbatch - Read Full Letter!

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Writes to Benedict Cumberbatch - Read Full Letter!

A new letter that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange wrote to Benedict Cumberbatch, who portrays him in the film The Fifth Estate, has just been revealed to the public.

“I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this film is a good film,” the 42-year-old year old founder wrote to the 37-year-old actor. “I believe that you should reconsider your involvement in this enterprise…feature films are the most powerful and insidious shapers of public perception, because they fly under the radar of conscious exclusion.”

Click inside to check out Julian‘s entire letter to Benedict

Dear Benedict,

Thank you for trying to contact me. It is the first approach by anyone from the Dreamworks production to me or WikiLeaks.

My assistants communicated your request to me, and I have given it a lot of thought and examined your previous work, which I am fond of.

I think I would enjoy meeting you.

The bond that develops between an actor and a living subject is significant.

If the film reaches distribution we will forever be correlated in the public imagination. Our paths will be forever entwined. Each of us will be granted standing to comment on the other for many years to come and others will compare our characters and trajectories.

But I must speak directly.

I hope that you will take such directness as a mark of respect, and not as an unkindness.

I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this film is a good film.

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 for me and the people I care about.

It is based on a deceitful book by someone who has a vendetta against me and my organisation.

In other circumstances this vendetta may have gone away, but our conflict with the United States government and the establishment press has created a patronage and commissioning market – powerful, if unpopular – for works and comments that are harmful to us.

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 US 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.

Dreamworks’ second rights purchase is the next most toxic, biased book. Published and written by people we have had a bitter contractual dispute with for years, whose hostility is well known. Neither of these two books were the first to be published and there are many independent authors who have written positive or neutral books, all of whom Dreamworks ignored.

Dreamworks has based its entire production on the two most discredited books on the market.

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.


My organisation and I are the targets of political adversary from the United States government and its closest allies.

The United States government has engaged almost every instrument of its justice and intelligence system to pursue—in its own words—a ‘whole of government’ investigation of ‘unprecedented scale and nature’ into WikiLeaks under draconian espionage laws. Our alleged sources are facing their entire lives in the US prison system. Two are already in it. Another one is detained in Sweden.

Feature films are the most powerful and insidious shapers of public perception, because they fly under the radar of conscious exclusion.

This film is going to bury good people doing good work, at exactly the time that the state is coming down on their heads.

It is going to smother the truthful version of events, at a time when the truth is most in demand.

As justification it will claim to be fiction, but it is not fiction. It is distorted truth about living people doing battle with titanic opponents. It is a work of political opportunism, influence, revenge and, above all, cowardice.

It seeks to ride on the back of our work, our reputation and our struggles.

It seeks to cut our strength with weakness. To cut affection with exploitation. To cut diligence with paranoia. To cut loyalty with naivety. To cut principle with hypocrisy. And above all, to cut the truth with lies.

The film’s many distortions buttress what the prosecution will argue. Has argued. Is arguing. In my case, and in that of others. These cases will continue for years.

The studio that is producing the film is not a vulnerable or weak party.

Dreamworks’ free speech rights are not in jeopardy – ours are.

Dreamworks is an extremely wealthy organisation, with ties to powerful interests in the US government.

I must therefore question the choices and motives behind it: the opportunism, fears and mundanity; the unwritten rules of film financing and distribution in the United States; the cringe against doing something useful and brave.

I believe that you are a decent person, who would not naturally wish to harm good people in dire situations.


You will be used, as a hired gun, to assume the appearance of the truth in order to assassinate it. To present me as someone morally compromised and to place me in a falsified history. To create a work, not of fiction, but of debased truth.

Not because you want to, of course you don’t, but because, in the end, you are a jobbing actor who gets paid to follow the script, no matter how debauched.

Your skills play into the hands of people who are out to remove me and WikiLeaks from the world.

I believe that you should reconsider your involvement in this enterprise.

Consider the consequences of your cooperation with a project that vilifies and marginalises 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.

Many will fight against history being blackwashed in this way. It is a collective history now, involving millions of people, because millions have opened their eyes as a result of our work and the attempts to destroy us.

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.

I cannot permit this film any claim to authenticity or truthfulness. In its current form it has neither, and doing so would only further aid the campaign against me.

It is contrary to my interests, and to those of my organisation, and I thank you for your offer, and what I am sure is your genuine intent, but I must, with inexpressible regret, turn it down.

Julian Assange

Just Jared on Facebook
Photos: Getty
Posted to: Benedict Cumberbatch, Julian Assange

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  • nm

    wow…though judging from the movie trailer, it seemed to be on the side of Assange…
    anyways I disagree with the statement that film is insidious and generates lies. You can’t include ALL films in such a comment. There is a great number of movies whose purpose was exactly to uncover the truth. Hollywood is NOT the entire film industry. It is the most profitable one,certainly. But not the one.
    Funny though I say this in a comment section of a gossip site..

  • GFW

    How does the saying go from the movie, “Man is not himself in first person, give him a mask and he’ll tell you the truth.” or something like that.
    So what does he want the actor to do? Give up his livelihood? Give up his bliss?

  • Shakirakitten

    Maybe Julian Assange’s work and that of Wikileaks is portrayed in a negative light because it is negative. He is full of himself, believes he is ‘important’ when he is just a spoiled hacker. He is a dangerous leach full of hypocrisy that he does not want exposed while he goes merrily about exposing secrets that help to keep us all safe. Just ask Malala if she thinks Julian Assange and Wikileaks helped her when she was shot for simply attending school in her village. Julian Assange is a danger to us all as we try to protect ourselves against enemies that have no value for life. Julian Assange has nowhere to turn now, as he has boxed himself into a corner. His actions defend terrorists. We do not want him doing more damage than he has already done.

  • Domino

    What the hell Jared, did you even read the letter?

    1) This is old, before Benedict even started to shoot the movie. He asked to meet with Julian but Julian turned him down. This is the letter he sent him when he did so!

    2) Not once does he tell him to quit Hollywood, he says get out of this film that many people will take as truth, when it is in fact a TWISTED truth. EXACTLY what Jared is doing right now.

  • GFW

    Did he make money from the film?

  • GFW

    And does on a daily basis for hits to his threads, that is if they’re even aware of the timeline (as I wasn’t)
    So I guess he just watched footage of him and went with his gut, the actor, that is.

  • Domino

    Such a shame, especially talking about a such an important subject. If Jared doesn’t know a thing about the it he should skip making such a post, in any case.

    And yes, that’s pretty much what Benedict did. I’ve only watched the trailer and he does an amazing job playing Julian. I am very skeptic about the script however. I know Julian still doesn’t support it, but he’s had longer talks through phone and e-mail with Benedict from what I’ve heard. He’s very supportive of him, it seems.

  • Susan

    I wasn’t going to see the film, but now that I know that it has Assange’s stamp of hatred on it, I’ll be going to every show this weekend to ensure that it rakes in cash. It seems fitting considering that Mr. Assange’s leaks helped to damage the career of someone very close to me.

  • Sayer

    He’s probably offended he’s being played by someone as unattractive as the jawless wonder, Cumberbatch, instead of Ryan Gosling.

  • GFW

    Wow, again, I wonder how much Julian was paid? Had to make money off this.
    My guess is, and I could be wrong, is he’s going to have a lot to say about the film (hating it of course while taking it to the bank) just so people dogo see it. Not too sure about his ego, but it might be a tad on the huge side.
    I’ll see it, but because I like the actor. And I’m curious.
    I read Julian is now more quiet than ever in his life. Makes sense if this ‘letter’ was before the film.
    Again, Benedict simply wanted to do a good job regardless of his personal feelings.
    I’m very sorry about that.

  • GFW

    No, the dude is a good fit.

  • Domino

    What makes you think Julian was paid at all? It was the author of the book who got paid.

    God, the ignorance on this site is staggering. I can only imagine the career of this person close to you. If it was damaged over a truth he leaked, then it wasn’t the most honest career.

  • b.

    I’m not from USA, and the work of Assange showed many movements and dark arrangements between sinister characters of my country (and dominant economic sector) and the United States government.
    So I applaud Assange, it requires courage to do what he did, and helped illuminate many spurious treaties which we would not have known anything about without him.

  • Alia

    no one knows Assange and his organisation better the Assange him self
    so if he side this move is not tilling the true story.then it’s right
    It’s his life.he knows it better than any writer or any one here

  • Alia