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Information may be the most valuable commodity on Earth, especially when it pertains to the inner workings and policies of major governments. Julian Assange drew the ire of countless officials in governments across the globe when he published state and military secrets through his online portal WikiLeaks.

Documentarian Alex Gibney (Freakonomics, Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) trained his camera on Assange and the furor surrounding WikiLeaks and the reveal of US military documents and videos, taken from classified servers and provided to Assange by Pfc. Bradley Manning. The resulting film, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, premiered at Sundance and opens this spring; now you can see a trailer that outlines both Assange’s general ideology and the media frenzy and government concern that surrounded WikiLeaks’ rise to prominence. Read More »

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Finding the right balance between fact and fiction is a tough trick for any “based on a true story” movie to pull off, but at least the subjects of, say, Lincoln (or Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, if you prefer) aren’t actually around to comment on their portrayal. For movies about public figures who are still alive and well, criticism from their real-life subjects often comes with the territory.

Two upcoming biopics about controversial figures have recently come into view, and it appears that the people depicted in them aren’t so thrilled with Hollywood’s versions of events. In a series of emails, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak called Joshua Michael Stern‘s jOBS “totally wrong,” though he expressed his hopes that the film would at least be “fun and entertaining.” Meanwhile, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had much harsher words for Bill Condon‘s The Fifth Estate, which he blasted as a “massive propaganda attack.” Read their comments after the jump.

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Julian Assange has been hailed as a hero by some and decried as a villain by others, so it seems just about perfect that Bill Condon‘s WikiLeaks movie stars an actor who can play both. As principal photography on the film, now titled The Fifth Estate, gets underway, the first photo of Benedict Cumberbatch as the WikiLeaks founder and Daniel Brühl as his former right-hand man Daniel Domscheit-Berg has been revealed.

Meanwhile, the film has also rounded out its casting with Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Peter Capaldi (In the Loop), and Carice van Houten (Game of Thrones). Dan Stevens and Alicia Vikander have been attached since earlier this winter. In addition, DreamWorks has finally confirmed a fall 2013 release date, putting the film squarely in the middle of prestige-pic season. Check out the photo and get all the new details after the jump.

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It seems like every studio in Hollywood is rushing to get a Julian Assange / WikiLeaks movie out there, but one of the first out of the gate will be from Bill Condon. As the film hurtles toward a January start date, it’s picked up a new title and a new star.

Downton Abbey actor Dan Stevens has just signed on for the film, which is now going by the title The Man Who Sold the World. Stevens joins a hot cast that also includes Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina), Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds), and Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange. More after the jump.

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It looks like James McAvoy won’t be reuniting with his Atonement and Starter for 10 co-star Benedict Cumberbatch after all. Earlier this month, we learned that McAvoy had signed on for Bill Condon‘s WikiLeaks movie in the role of Daniel Domscheit-Berg, right-hand man to Julian Assange (Cumberbatch). Unfortunately, negotiations have now broken down over McAvoy’s commitment to X-Men: Days of Future Past.

But the news isn’t without a silver lining. Replacing McAvoy in the part will be Daniel Brühl, best known in the U.S. for playing Nazi soldier Fredrick Zoller in Inglourious Basterds. More details after the jump.

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Two of the biggest rising stars in Hollywood might team up to tell a still-unfolding story filled with secrets, leaks and infamy. DreamWorks has been developing a biopic of Julian Assange, the controversial face behind WikiLeaks, with Bill Condon (Dreamgirls) likely to direct. Over the summer rumors circulated that Jeremy Renner was in talks for the lead but Deadline now reports Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness) could possibly play Assange with Joel Kinnaman (The Killing, RoboCop) as his right hand man, Daniel Domscheit-Berg. The script, based on two books on Assange, was written by Josh Singer.

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As of last year, there were some half-dozen Julian Assange / WikiLeaks movies brewing, but probably because the real-life drama is still unfolding, progress has been rather slow-moving on most of them. At least one studio’s not planning on waiting around forever, though. A new report indicates that Jeremy Renner is currently circling the lead role in DreamWorks’ version of the Assange story, while Bill Condon is said to be eyeing the director’s chair. Read more after the jump.

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Rowan Joffe Writing HBO’s WikiLeaks Movie

Remember a few months ago, when WikiLeaks seemed like it would be the topic of a dozen different movies? Some of those may actually happen, and one, the HBO and BBC co-production that seeks to chronicle the story of Julian Assange‘s organization, just got some new contributors.

Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are now exec producers, and Rowan Joffe (The American, 28 Weeks Later) is writing the script. To remind you, this one is based on Raffi Khatchadourian‘s June 7, 2010 New Yorker article called No Secrets: Julian Assange’s Mission for Total Transparency. Read More »

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