Julian Assange Hits Out Against WikiLeaks Movie

Benedict Cumberbatch Julian Assange - H 2013
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Benedict Cumberbatch Julian Assange - H 2013

The activist says Bill Condon's "The Fifth Estate" is a "massive propaganda attack" and is "fanning the flames" of war.

LONDON – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lashed out against Bill Condon's WikiLeaks movie The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, describing it as a "massive propaganda attack."

Assange claimed he had seen a copy of the script for the movie, backed by Participant Media and DreamWorks, and also argued that the film is an inflammatory attack on Iran.

Assange, currently hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, shared his opinions in a Wednesday night video link with students at Oxford University, the Guardian reported. Talking to the University's famous Oxford Union from his refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy, the activist's remarks came as the first picture of Cumberbatch as Assange was released.

Cumberbatch stars alongside Daniel Bruhl, who plays the activist's confidant Daniel Domscheit-Berg, in the story of the early days of WikiLeaks. The Fifth Estate, which also stars Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis and Peter Capaldi, is due to be released in the U.S. in November.

The movie is based on Domscheit-Berg's book Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website, as well as Guardian  writers David Leigh and Luke Harding's WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy.

Assange told the Oxford Union that Condon's film began with scenes inside a military complex in Iran, where nuclear symbols could clearly be seen.

He said that scene suggested the country was building a nuclear weapon, and the film was clearly an attempt to go about "fanning the flames" of war.

"How does this have anything to do with us? It is a lie upon lie," he said. "The movie is a massive propaganda attack on WikiLeaks and the character of my staff."

Assange reportedly held a supposed copy of the script for The Fifth Estate by The West Wing's Josh Singer in his hand throughout the video-taped encounter, but didn't show it to the camera.

Assange also quoted from a scene, in which he said scientists were seen meeting a U.S. agent. "How is it that a lie gets into a script about WikiLeaks?," he asked.

Assange did not get an easy run from the students with the activist refusing to answer questions about his decision not to return to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault. Assange also said he fears being extradited onwards to the U.S. over his WikiLeaks activism.