November 9, 2012
James McAvoy Could Join WIKILEAKS Film Starring Benedict Cumberbatch
Variety reports that James McAvoy (Atonement, X-Men First Class, Trance) is in talks for Dreamworks' untitled WikiLeaks film. Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Hobbit, Star Trek Into Darkness) is playing Julian Assange in the movie while James could play Daniel Domscheit-Berg. They mention that Joel Kinnaman (The Killing, Robocop, Snabba Cash) had bene rumored for the role that McAvoy could take.
Assange launched whistleblowing website WikiLeaks in 2006 and began antagonizing world governments by leaking embarrassing diplomatic cables and other state secrets, prompting the U.S. to seek to prosecute the polarizing figure.
Domscheit-Berg began working with WikiLeaks after meeting Assange at the Chaos Computer Club's annual conference in 2007, eventually becoming a spokesperson for the organization. Assange recruited Domscheit-Berg because he had been burned by some hacker friends when he was younger and the German tech guru seemed like someone he could trust.
The charismatic Assange seduced Domscheit-Berg with his ideology, promising the two could cause real change in the world via WikiLeaks. Assange is expected to be portrayed as a noble crusader who eventually becomes drunk with power as he grows increasingly paranoid and obsessed with winning the "war of information."
Though he rose to become Assange's right-hand man at WikiLeaks, Domscheit-Berg left due to his belief that Assange failed to display journalistic integrity. His split from WikiLeaks was widely credited by news outlets as being one of the incidents that led Assange to release more than a quarter-million U.S. diplomatic cables. In his book, Domscheit-Berg criticizes Assange's leadership style and handling of the Afghan War Diaries. In September 2010, Domscheit-Berg founded OpenLeaks with the intention of being more transparent than WikiLeaks, though the project has failed to have the same impact.