WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is none too pleased with the upcoming film about his website, The Fifth Estate, and his disapproval was reiterated this week when a letter Assange wrote to star Benedict Cumberbatch was published by his organization.
Assange, who claimed asylum last year and is residing at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, wrote the letter in the form of an email back in January and was made public on Wednesday when WikiLeaks released it. Cumberbatch, who portrays Assange in the film, reportedly asked to meet with him to prepare for the role but the Australian whistleblower refused, saying that "by meeting with you I would validate this wretched film."
Assange said he was "fond" of Cumberbatch's previous work and said he believes the actor is "well-intentioned" and "a good person", but believes meeting with him would be a bad idea and went on to voice his problems with the film.
"I hope that you will take such directness as a mark of respect, and not as an unkindness," he wrote.
A primary problem with the movie Assange cites in his letter is the material the screenplay is based on. The Fifth Estate is based in part on the books Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World's Most Dangerous Website by Daniel Domscheidt-Berg and WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy by David Leigh and Luke Harding, both published in 2011.
"There are dozens of positive books about WikiLeaks, but Dreamworks decided to base its script only on the most toxic," Assange wrote. He then went on to say that "Dreamworks has based its entire production on the two most discredited books on the market."
BBC News adds that The Fifth Estate received a standing ovation after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last month.
"I cannot permit this film any claim to authenticity or truthfulness," Assange said of the film itself. "In its current form it has neither, and doing so would only further aid the campaign against me."
The Fifth Estate premieres in the UK tomorrow and opens in United States theaters on Oct. 18.