WikiLeaks has posted the entire script for the film The Fifth Estate online and given its most forceful denunciation of the movie, which is about the creation of the controversial site and its equally controversial founder. The notorious whistleblower site has posted a memo describing the film as “irresponsible, counterproductive and harmful”.
The DreamWorks film, which is being released on 18th October by Disney, chronicles the origin of the site, with site founder Julian Assange being played by Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch. The Fifth Estate has already been described as “a massive propaganda attack” by the real Assange, and now WikiLeaks has issued a lengthy, point-by-point rebuttal of its depiction in the film, disputing everything from the idea that Assange dyes his hair to the idea that it released documents that endangered confidential sources.
“Most of the events depicted never happened, or the people shown were not involved in them,” the post notes. “It has real names, real places, and looks like it is covering real events, but it is still a dramatic and cinematic work and it invents or shapes the facts to fit its narrative goals.”
The screenplay was written by Josh Singer and partly inspired by the book Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World’s Most Dangerous Website by early WikiLeaks collaborator Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who fell out with Assange in a very bitter and public manner. Assange rebuffed attempts by the filmmakers to reach out to him in the course of the movie’s production.