WikiLeak film begins, faces Armstrong-esque issues?
The first frame of the WikiLeaks film has arrived, entitled The Fifth Estate, the film will tell the story of Julian Assange, the man who worked by him to build the site Daniel Domscheit-Berg and of course of WikiLeaks itself.
However I am surprised that this film is moving ahead so quickly, imagine if the Lance Armstrong biographical film had completed before the recent revelations had been made public? Not that I'm saying anything about Assange's character, rather that his story remains incomplete and it could go any way yet.
Of course while his story remains incomplete so will a story in film about his life, however this film is not going to tell his whole story and will instead tell the formation of WikiLeaks and the relationship between the two characters behind it.
There's an ulterior motive as well since there are a number of other WikiLeaks and Julian Assange films in various stages of production and someone has to get there first, mind you there's a good cast behind this one and the script comes from Josh Singer who wrote on The West Wing while Bill Condon who directed Dreamgirls is behind the camera.
Singer has adapted two books bought for the film, Inside WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) by journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding and the other being Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) by Daniel Domscheit-Berg.
It does look good that has to be said, but will it be enough to tell the early story and leave the rest unfinished, both in film and in real life? Will audiences be able to feel for the character they can't decide whether they should sympathise with or hate? What stand will the film take on his character?
The director Bill Condon sees the same issue and his comment through the article addresses it:
"It may be decades before we understand the full impact of WikiLeaks and how it's revolutionised the spread of information...So this film won't claim any long view authority on its subject, or attempt any final judgment. We want to explore the complexities and challenges of transparency in the information age and, we hope, enliven and enrich the conversations WikiLeaks has already provoked."
It will be interesting to see the first part of this story, but how will it fare when Assange's is told? We'll have to wait for the first part later next year and for Assange's story to play out.