Julian Assange declines meeting with Benedict Cumberbatch

The "Star Trek" villain plays the WikiLeaks founder in "The Fifth Estate"

By Prachi Gupta
Published May 15, 2013 5:00PM (UTC)
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It is no secret that Julian Assange, the shadowy founder of WikiLeaks who remains out of the public's gaze within London's Ecuadorian embassy, does not like "The Fifth Estate," a film based on his life. In January, he called the film "a massive propaganda attack."

The Telegraph reports that Assange refused to meet the film's star, Benedict Cumberbatch, who maintains that he's a fan:


"He didn't want to condone the film because he thought – hopefully erroneously when he sees the end product – that the project would castigate him and portray a negative side of his enterprise," the busy Cumberbatch told me when we talked at the Corinthia Hotel in London, where he was promoting Star Trek Into Darkness.

"He didn't want to meet me because he feels the source materials we've based the movie on were poisonous to his account of the events. When he sees it I hope he feels that it's more balanced. I think he will. I hope he will."

The film just finished shooting, but Assange obtained a copy of the script months ago, calling it "a lie upon lie" about his life and the organization.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Benedict Cumberbatch Film Julian Assange Movies The Fifth Estate Wikileaks