Did you know that they are making a movie about Wikileaks called The Fifth Estate, and that Benedict Cumberbatch is playing the info leaker/megalomaniac/accused rapist Julian Assange? They are and he is. And judging from this first still released by the movie, it may prove fatal to any and all Cumberbatch-related lady boners.
As you can see, they adorned your beloved Mr. Cumberbatch with Julian Assange’s creepy trappings, completely with white-blonde bob, swoopy man bangs, and army jacket. So not cute. There is also that whole “alleged rapist” thing, which is basically the least cute type of character I can think of. Anti-cute, even.
Perhaps least cute of all is the prospect that this film will gloss over the shittier facts about Julian Assange while painting him as some sort of pure-hearted, unjustly persecuted internet hero, while in reality, his motives were a lot more complicated, and it’s quite possible that the only reason he’s an alleged rapist instead of a convicted one is that he fled Sweden to avoid standing trial. The following statement from Dream Works doesn’t make me terribly optimistic:
“It may be decades before we understand the full impact of WikiLeaks and how it’s revolutionized the spread of information,” Condon said in a statement. “So this film won’t claim any long view authority on its subject, or attempt any final judgment. We want to explore the complexities and challenges of transparency in the information age and, we hope, enliven and enrich the conversations WikiLeaks has already provoked.”
Here’s hoping this film will be better than it sounds, and that Cumberbatch will turn in a performance that is real, complex, and checkered enough to justify playing someone so questionable.