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Julian Assange wanted Benedict Cumberbatch to quit WikiLeaks film

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May 21, 2013 | 4:19pm EDT

Wanted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange pleaded with British actor Benedict Cumberbatch to drop out of the Hollywood adaptation of his story after objecting to an early version of the film's script. The Star Trek Into Darkness star portrays Assange in The Fifth Estate, an upcoming movie based on his whistleblowing website, which hit headlines across the world for leaking top secret and classified documents from military and international government sources. Cumberbatch recently admitted he had tried to set up a meeting with the embattled Australian journalist, who has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since last summer (12) as he battles extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted over allegations of sexual assault - but Assange wanted nothing to do with him. The actor reveals Assange actually asked him to quit the project in a bid to put a stop to the movie. Cumberbatch tells New York Magazine, "(We had) a form of communication. He hates the idea of the film and asked me not to do it, and I said to him, 'Well, somebody is going to do it, wouldn't you rather it's someone who has your ear, who could steer the film to a place that's more accurate or balanced?' The tabloid image of him, what he fears is going to be promoted - that weird, white-haired guy wanted for rape - is so far from what we did." And the star insists he has nothing but admiration for his film subject for exposing documents that were in the public's interest: "No matter how you cut it, he's done us a massive service, to wake us up to the zombie-like way we absorb our news."

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