Benedict Cumberbatch plays Julian Assange in the first trailer for The Fifth Estate

The Sherlock star goes bleach blonde to play the founder of Wikileaks

It’s Sherlock as you’ve never seen him before: bleach blonde and Australian. The first footage of Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange has been unveiled.

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The trailer for The Fifth Estate, released today, gives a taste of what’s to come in the first fictional portrayal of how WikiLeaks, and its founder Assange, came to international notoriety. Cumberbatch stars opposite Rush’s Daniel Brühl as Wikileaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg.

Directed by Twilight’s Bill Condon, it seems that the film will focus on Assange’s growing confidence and megalomania as Wikileaks starts to shake international authority – notably The White House – with its leaks of classified, but compromising, information. It also hints at the breakdown in his working relationship with Domscheit-Berg, who left the organisation in 2010 after a public falling-out with Assange. 

The Fifth Estate’s all-star cast includes Laura Linney, Stanley Tucci, Dan Stevens and Alicia Vikander. David Thewlis plays Guardian reporter Nick Davies, who instigated the publishing of Assange’s leaks, and The Thick of It’s Peter Capaldi plays The Guardian’s editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger.

The Fifth Estate opens on October 11, 2013 in the US, with a UK release scheduled for 1 January 2014. 

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See the trailer below: