News Limited reports
Benedict Cumberbatch has undergone a striking transformation to play Australian WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the new trailer for controversial WikiLeaks movie "The Fifth Estate" reveals.
The Sherlock star tackles Julian Assange's internationally-tinged Australian accent with skill, but Assage is unlikely to be impressed. The Wikileaks founder has slammed the film as propaganda designed to fan the flames of a war against Iran.
Cumberbatch is completely transformed for the role, donning a silver wig to match Assange's distinctive hair, and accurately capturing the whistleblower's mannerisms.
"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. But if you give him a mask, he will tell you the truth," he tells an adoring crowd in his Australian accent.
"Courage is contagious", he says.
The film charts the rise of WikiLeaks, tackling the US response and Assange's growing ego. It is based on former WikiLeaks staffer Daniel Domscheit-Berg's tell-all book WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website.
The trailer for the thriller shows Assange watching US military video of American soldiers killing unarmed journalists in Iraq, taking on oppressive regimes, going after corrupt bankers as well as the massive leaking of US government documents. It also may touch on Assange's sexual assault allegations, with a shot of him unbuttoning his shirt with a woman.
Laura Linney and Stanley Tucci also star as US officials desperate to stop the leaking of state secrets. The film is released in the US in November, but there is no Australian release date yet.
Earlier this year, Assange criticised the film after getting hold of a copy of the script.
"It is a mass propaganda attack against WikiLeaks the organisation," Assange told students in Oxford via a video-link from the Ecuadorean embassy in London.
"But it is not just an attack against us - it is an attack against Iran.
"It fans the flames to start a war with Iran."
The 41-year-old said the opening scene was set in a military complex in Tehran and showed Iran was working on an atomic weapon.
But in reality, the United States' own intelligence agencies had confirmed Iran didn't have a nuclear weapons program, he said.
"It's a lie upon a lie. Everything we see, read and hear is produced for a purpose."
Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning over allegations of sexual assault against two women.
He is avoiding extradition by remaining inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London after being granted asylum by the Latin American nation.