Dreamworks today released a still of their upcoming film The Fifth Estate starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Wikileaks founder and extradition-avoider Julian Assange. Focusing on the early days of the site, the film will the Sherlock star with platinum blond hair and sporting an indolent facial expression. Daniel Bruhl (Goodbye, Lenin!) co-stars as Assange’s confidante Daniel Domscheit-Berg, whose book ‘WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange’ provides the basis of the story. Filling out the rest of the cast are familiar British faces like David Thewlis and The Thick of It‘s Peter Capaldi, who is presumably playing an ornery Scottish man.
However, this isn’t the first time Cumberbatch has tackled a living figure: in 2004, he was Stephen Hawking in a BBC television film and in 2010 he played Vincent Van Gogh. Could he be challenging Michael Sheen’s status as the go-to guy for playing famous personalities? After all, the Academy do love giving awards to actors playing real historical figures (The Queen, Idi Amin, Thatcher, Ray Charles, etc…)
The Fifth Estate is still in production, so it will be a while before it hits the cinema. In the meantime, fans of Mr Cumberbatch will have to settle for seeing him in this summer’s blockbuster sequel Star Trek into Darkness or perhaps the second Hobbit film, which promises to feature a lot more of him.