Julian Assange Letter To Actor Who Plays Him In Movie

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Above: Julian Assange and Benedict Cumberbatch

Julian Assange’s letter to Benedict Cumberbatch

On October 9th WikiLeaks published the first letter from Julian Assange to Benedict Cumberbatch regarding “The Fifth Estate”, a Dreamworks movie about WikiLeaks set to open in the UK on Friday 11 Oct, and in the US on Friday 18 Oct. The press release about this letter is here. The letter was sent to Benedict Cumberbatch after he made overtures to contact Julian Assange in January this year, immediately before principal photography commenced.

Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2013
From: Julian Assange
To: Benedict Cumberbatch
Subject: Message from Assange

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

Read the press release about this letter  HERE

Read the Wikileaks Memo Highlighting Inaccuracies in the film  HERE.

View an advance version of the Fifth Estate Script HERE

Link to video: The Fifth Estate trailer: watch Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange in the Wikileaks thriller

  • Honor,
    This is the third complaint against the organization interpose Secret Service United States of America, CIA, electronic harassment by microwaves is already known around the world by the name of mind control, mind control `English` or ‘non lethal’ weapon energy.
    As can be read in previous reports, which have not yet been answered Spanish justice, for 10 years I am a victim of electronic harassment and I am tortured with sounds and pains, insults and threats from CIA agents . It is not necessary to give more evidence of the existence of this technology because Mr. Assange Wikileaks organization has shown CIA documents leaked to the media world, and in one of these documents an official U.S. government states clearly that the dissidents or undesirables must not only spying but also control. Obviously this statement refers to the control of the mind of these people.
    With this petition I wish to state once again that the Spanish government and justice, not to answer these allegations, are collaborating with the organization of the CIA for not defending my rights according to article ……… Spanish ………….. of the Constitution that requires the government and justice to defend my rights as Spanish citizens. Thus I want to inform you that the day you finally come to light this aggression of electronic harassment, sue the Spanish state and its justice with a lawsuit billionaire. Spanish doctors will demand that false diagnoses declare me insane, because the symptoms are similar to diseases presenting as schizophrenia and paranoia and so the judges give reasons for not attending to my complaints.
    Your honor must know that there are already electronic devices that can clearly show that my brain is constantly bombarded with microwave and that the results of these devices should be accepted as evidence in court as is done with DNA testing.
    I should add that when I arrived in Spain I received political refugee status, as recorded in the files of the Spanish police, and I suspect that for political reasons the Spanish Secret Service is involved in this harassment.
    Since the CIA can see with my eyes and heard with my ears I feel like a spy involuntary threatening the safety of my family, friends and neighbors in this way the CIA chooses new victims. Also agents who speak Spanish and Farsi, constantly threaten my family on the pretext of making them also victims of harassment if I denounce. If this happened to my family would be the rule makers and the Spanish justice since and I am reporting these CIA amenazas.Los are 24 hours a day torturing, controlling and watching me even in the most Intimate of my life , for example when I’m with my wife and this says a lot about the nature and sadistic and perverse agents this criminal oragnización CIA.
    If our generation does not end this electronic harassment now, our children and future generations will be born and die slaves victims.
    Honor, Mr. Edward Snowden, the former agent of the CIA, has not told the whole truth about massive spying by U.S. allies and other countries. Actually with electronic harassment technology Co. can turn any human being in a spy within society in a more dangerous that shows Mr. Snowden, because there are people who after speaking with a victim of the CIA, have also been chosen as a victim. Thus the CIA spy and controls worldwide countries even their allies since in all European Community paise there are victims and this sowing terror and distrust in society. Besides experiments with CIA makes me or other victims are very similar to the experiments with the Jews or prisoners in concentration camps of Nazi Germany so with such an ally and friend like USA European Community and Spain do not need enemies .
    These charges may be incredible for your honor but in the United States itself there are already many victims of electronic harassment to the point that the media, TV, newspapers and especially in Internet forums are openly talking about individuals’ goal `English` target `Individuals. A quick look online to see the testimonies of victims and articles related to this harassment.
    At the end I must add that my nervous system is under the control of the CIA and can kill me at any time. I must also confess that I have fear for my life but Nelson Mandela quote that says `the man with courage is not who is not afraid if this fear who trains’.

    Babak Amirebrahimi

  • They don’t like to let the people see a saviour as such…He sure has set the ball in never ending (Hopefully)motion…The criminals at the top are cringing at the escaping evidence of their transgressions…We the people despise unfeeling & uncaring government for us…Jullian Assange has shown us how you are & it makes us want to puke…

  • mick clark

    it would be easier for julian to commision a film himself, in pretty much the same way as george galloway is doing, on the film he is helping to make, the killing of tony blair!!!

  • Well, yep, I do agree with Julians thoughts and feelings in terms of the Movie, and let’s face it, it’s just another performance however untrue to make money for Dreamworks, it would be a fantastic Human Being who could fight for our rights in the same way that Julian is and those of us who feel the same way to walk away from being a part of this Movie and honoring us all in this gesture!!

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  • Margaret Santone

    To all concerned read the The Biggest Secret and make a film about that and leave the good guy Julian Assange alone

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  • Julian Assange/Bradly Manning/Edward Snowden… ALL modern day heroes. PERIOD! The “awakened” won’t be fooled/influenced by this or any other form of media whose agenda is to diminish/defame Assange/Wikileaks… truth-tellers.

  • Jennifer Watson

    DreamWorks & the whole crew of this anti-wikileaks film are just another bunch of prostitutes on the payroll of the USGovmt. Look at the eyes between these two guys. One will be crucified in the name of the TRUTH, the other will lay down for cash. Righteousness will prevail & Julians life-work with it!!! Films come & go like a flash in the pan but the far-reaching effect of wikileaks has already changed the lives of millions.. there are 1000’s of documents of exposure, not just whistlebowing on the U.S., but ALL powers doping the people for cash. THANK YOU ASSANGE!!

  • All attempts to quarantine the truth..and those with the courage to reveal it. must ultimately fail. It is only a matter of time until the TruthTellers, (whistleblowers) are vindicated. Patience, patience, patience. If the Matrix was not crumbling on all fronts, there would not be these desperate attempts to plug up the holes in the dykes with lies, lies and more lies.

  • Christine

    I watched the movie recently, I enjoyed it, & I didn’t really care what light Julian was painted in, it was clear the good work he has done, & I felt it was wonderful advertisement for Wikileaks! I had not previously heard of the website, nor about the technology for anonymous whistleblowing, and I feel if anyone has access to coverup info, then after watching this movie, they will feel confident to share it on wikileaks. I think the site will have a boom! Who cares about the personal stuff? Free Advertisement!

  • The answer of Assange is very well thought. Having met the actor would indeed credit the movie as Dreamworks would surely use that.

    We don’t have much “free flowing” information in this world. We are made to think there is. Diversion is the biggest asset of illusion. Most of it is either scrutinized or directly cencored by governments. Oppression is standard.

    They curb your freedom of speech, freedom of sharing, watch your every move, read everything you write. We are becoming more entwined with each other from all over the world while all our secrets are there out in the open to be seen. Then they say its for your own protection. They create the factors of fear, and then tell you to fear them while they try controlling everyone as puppets which they think we are.

    Read, think, observe, analize. Thats all we can do. They want us to consume, vote for what they offer, accept it as faith. As long as they are ignorant of us, that will be our biggest strength.

    However, as Emile Zola said, “The truth is on the march, and nothing shall stop it.”.

  • j

    anyone one that is holed up in an embassy that has “assistants” can eat my size 9’s

  • Hmmm…

    This is fake!! He and Benedict conversed through email throughout the filming process. why would he then right a letter after??

  • Analize? That sounds painful.

  • Kevin Zeese

    The letter was released well after it was written. It came from the Wikileaks site, so it not a fake.

  • Kevin Zeese

    Why? He is running a major news website. Of course, there are people working on it with him whether he is an Embassy or traveling the world.

  • Monkeyman

    Making a film about a very present day event thats still unfolding, even if they were portraying him as a hero, totally disempowers the work he has done, to make a more truthful world.

  • Pearls before swine I’m afraid, & a very long march

  • Wayne Adams

    someones butthurt.

  • MaximusX67

    Assange has mental problems, and this enormously unnecessary email shows what lengths he will go to ….. everyone knows he is a narcissist. But he seems to suffer from other, much deeper issues overall. But, because he exposed all the shit that he did, and was told what a hero he was, anytime anyone questions him they are shot down as ‘out to get him’ ….. a very positive sign for schizophrenia.

  • kevinzeese

    Sad to see people making a mistaken psychological analysis from afar and never meeting the person; really just a way to name call. My analysis from afar — you are jealous and don’t have a decimal of the courage, ethics or strength Assange has shown.

  • MaximusX67


  • Mark

    Eric Bana is much more suitable for the role . Not only does he look like Julian he also looks like him and he’s Australian .

  • Jeff Kleven

    not a good idea ,unless the real person is starring in a film!