There are three WikiLeaks projects in the works. When did this become the hottest story in Hollywood?

Julian-Assange-WikileaksImage Credit: Fabrice Coffrini/Getty ImagesEverybody’s hungry for a piece of the WikiLeaks pie, apparently.

At the moment, there’s a biopic about the controversial site’s founder Julian Assange in the works, an HBO film in development, and Universal Pictures is funding a documentary. My question for you, PopWatchers, is: Are you really that interested in this story?

Hollywood execs certainly seem to think you are, and I have to admit there are several points of interest to this story — not the least of which is Assange himself, one of the most wanted men in the world. One producer of the biopic (quoted in Variety), Barry Josephson (who works on Bones), even compared an upcoming biography on Assange to All the President’s Men, saying it was “this generation’s suspenseful drama with global impact.”

I would hesitantly agree with that, keeping in mind that the story of Watergate had been rolling toward a conclusion when the book based on the event was released in 1974, the same year President Richard Nixon resigned. And the movie (still one of my all-time favorites) wasn’t released until 1976. Note that history was allowed to unravel before Hollywood stepped in. I like that.

My guess, based on the ever-changing twists of this WikiLeaks story, is that filmmakers won’t have the luxury of a neatly wrapped conclusion. And that’s okay. My annoyance lies in the fact that the real-life story is pretty intriguing on its own, and before we have a chance to watch a rather historical story unravel in the news, it is being regurgitated. I’d like a grace period — but that’s just me. Maybe we do need three takes on the life and works of Julian Assange right away. Personally, I’ll probably wait until he and the name “WikiLeaks” stops appearing in the papers every week before checking any of them out — unless someone casts Robert Redford.

What about you, PopWatchers? Too much WikiLeaks too fast? Or more, please?

Comments (30 total) Add your comment
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  • Katja

    I agree that I’d like to let the full story actually unfold before seeing any movies but…I probably wouldn’t see these movies anyway, unless they’re starring Bill Hader doing his Assange impression.

    • Mr. Holloway

      “Remember: no matter how I die, it was murder.”

  • MCS

    You are absolutely right. The story isnt even finished yet, they MUST wait until it has somewhat of a conclusion. An ending that just suggested Assange would continue releasing info would be awful, they need something impactful. Otherwise it is a fascinating story I would love to see.

  • j78d74d

    Very simple to understand, name a dozen heroes that are alive and under 40. 10 years of wars have produced 0 heroes. Science? Technology? That Facebook guy, OK 1. Medicine? Even sports has no compelling stories. That leaves Julian Assange and pretty much no one else.

    • Jane

      There was a British soldier who recently got awarded a medal for disabling 150 roadside bombs on his own. Probably wouldn’t make a great movie though.

      • ello

        Eh. Not as impressive as Assange. He single-handedly started WikiLeaks and develop its technology, and WikiLeaks helped expose corruption in *two* banks (a Cayman Island one and an Icelandic one – or maybe a series of Icelandic banks, I don’t remember) and won the lawsuits they imposed on WikiLeaks, helped expose corruption of a Kenyan political candidate, published the list of censored websites on China, exposed abuses in Guantanamo Bay, not to mention the more recent, US-related ones – and now they’ll expose how the tax evasion system works, and apparently between 5 and 20 *trillion* dollars could be in Swedish banks that allow tax evasion (through legalized secrecy, aka not revealing the people who have accounts in the bank) – which is one of the main reasons why the government never has enough money for anything – as well as the corruption in Bank of America, of course.

        A soldier who disarmed 500 bombs is impressive, but it’s nothing compared to WikiLeaks, in terms of scale. WikiLeaks works top-down, that soldier works bottom-up.

      • ello

        Ha ha, did I say 500? I meant 150 – I mean no disrespect for the soldier, but he’s working within the system and has no idea what the system is like, while WikiLeaks does.

  • Jane

    One of the first things I thought about when this story broke was what an exciting movie it will make one day. But I agree it’s too soon, I was thinking more in like 10 years.

  • Allison

    I think he should be arrested. Free speech is in thing but leaking top secret info to the public that can and does put peoples lives in danger is across the line.

    • mickey

      8Have you ever thought about why those things are top secret? There are only two possibilities:
      1. It contains plans for illegal, inhumane, dishonest actions.
      2. It contains plans to take down some bad people so they can’t harm others.
      But the sad thing is that, about 99% of the time it consists of possibility #1. That is why some top politicians called for Wikileaks chief to be assassinated.

    • Ron Lloyd

      “Sunlight is the best disinfectant”

    • Art Brennan

      None of the leaked information is top secret. Leaking the war crimes and crimes against humanity including the murder of civilians and the torture of detainees are good things. If we the people are really living in a democratic republic we need to know what’s going on in order to vote intelligently and Wikileaks has become a source of important information for citizens. It’s the US and complicit countries that have been killing tens of thousands of innocent people, not Wikileaks!

  • Nina Carroll

    MORE MORE MORE!! Wikileaks is the greatest threat to fascism and oppression the world has ever seen. I can’t get enough of it or Julian Assange. The big problem Hollywood faces is finding someone sexy and charming enough to play his role.

    • Sarai

      Ralph Fiennes!

  • janice

    I have been following the wiki/assange story all along. I always said what a great movie it would make so I’m thrilled. We haven’t had too many heroes in the world on this scale. Viva Julian!!

  • jibon

    good for world, i want more and more information and we want to change of world

  • jibon

    more and more current news we want

  • ello

    Assange certainly lived an interesting life – his mother apparently married some mafia/gang/whatever-related man, who then chased her after divorce, which caused Assange and his mother to run all over the country that caused him to go though 37 schools – and he was one of the first person to be connected to the Internet, and he became a skilled programmer who did some look-and-see hacking (as in he didn’t harm the computers he accessed) that caused him to be chased around by cops at the age of sixteen, he got a girl pregnant and married her at 17 or 19 or something, and then the girl ran away, and yet Assange managed to become a theoretical physicist at Melborne University, became a human rights activist and a journalist, computer scientist, economist, cryptographer, historian (he helped publish an extremely detailed, historical account of some hackers) – and here he is now. His parents ran a theater company! And yet he’s a very science-y guy! His life was bound to become a movie.

  • rick brewer

    Keep the dope man in business Mr reporter. I offer altered reality better than you

  • rick brewer

    you are so inteeligent

  • ello

    Also, on who to play Assange – how about Hugh Laurie?

    Lol I’m kidding, but Assange’s character is much like House’s. No one likes them personally because they speak their mind, no one likes them professionally because they’re not afraid to be rude, and they’re both extremely smart (though I’d say that Assange is far more intelligent than House).

  • Alex Cordell

    “Personally, I’ll probably wait until he and the name “WikiLeaks” stops appearing in the papers every week before checking any of them out… ”

    You mean every day!

  • dee123

    Does this mean we have to hear horrible Australian accents a la Meryl Streep? Not all Australians sound alike my Uncle is from Oz & sound nothing like Steve Irwin.

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