Specifically, the actor reached out for a meetup with Assange and in response received a lengthy letter.
Ahead of the film’s theatrical release October 18, WikiLeaks revealed the letter sent to Cumberbatch in January asking him to drop from the role.
To be clear, Assange doesn’t rip apart Cumberbatch.
Rather, numerous times, he repeats he has nothing but respect for the actor who he claims is the only person from the DreamWorks’ production to reach out to him about the film.
“I hope that you will take such directness as a mark of respect, and not as an unkindness.
I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this film is a good film.
I do not believe it is going to be positive for me or the people I care about.”
He then continues to ask the actor respectfully to decline the role of Assange in “The Fifth Estate”:
“You will be used, as a hired gun, to assume the appearance of the truth in order to assassinate it. To present me as someone morally compromised and to place me in a falsified history. To create a work, not of fiction, but of debased truth.
Not because you want to, of course you don’t, but because, in the end, you are a jobbing actor who gets paid to follow the script, no matter how debauched.
Your skills play into the hands of people who are out to remove me and WikiLeaks from the world.
I believe that you should reconsider your involvement in this enterprise.”
As a result, Assange turned down the opportunity to meet with the British actor so that it didn’t appear he was in any way approving of the film.
“By meeting with you, I would validate this wretched film, and endorse the talented, but debauched, performance that the script will force you to give.
I cannot permit this film any claim to authenticity or truthfulness. In its current form it has neither, and doing so would only further aid the campaign against me.”
WikiLeaks’ labels the letter as “first letter from Julian Assange,” making it appear as if there may have been more correspondences.
- WikiLeaks publishes Assange’s disapproving letter to Cumberbatch (panarmenian.net)
- WikiLeaks Publishes Julian Assange’s Private Letter to Benedict Cumberbatch (aceshowbiz.com)
- Read Julian Assange’s Impassioned Letter Asking Benedict Cumberbatch To Drop Out Of WikiLeaks Movie ‘The Fifth Estate’ (businessinsider.com)
- Assange releases Cumberbatch film letter (skynews.com.au)
- Julian Assange writes to Benedict Cumberbatch to complain about ‘wretched’ Wikileaks film (telegraph.co.uk)
- Assange refused to meet Cumberbatch (bbc.co.uk)
- The Fifth Estate: Julian Assange reveals details of Benedict Cumberbatch letter (theguardian.com)