Julian Assange has made no secret of his contempt for Benedict Cumberbatch’s WikiLeaks biopic The Fifth Estate, even publishing a letter to the Sherlock actor in which he warns him he will “be used, as a hired gun, to assume the appearance of the truth in order to assassinate it.”
Now Assange is attempting to further undermine director Bill Condon’s film with the release of a new documentary to counter the Dreamworks big-budget effort.
Mediastan was available to download for free in both Europe and the US for a limited time to coincide with the release of The Fifth Estate and is now available to rent and buy.
The documentary, described as a “road movie”, follows the online organisation during its 2011 distribution of classified American diplomatic cables, known as Operation Cablerun, and was leaked to The Guardian and The New York Times.
Assange, who produced the film, said, “This weekend, instead of wasting your time and money on Hollywood propaganda, why not get all your friends around and spend your time watching Mediastan instead?”
While no official stats are available for North American territories, 500,000 users are reported to have downloaded a free copy of the documentary around The Fifth Estate’s UK release date. Conversely, Cumberbatch’s biopic has scored paltry earnings so far, generating just $1.7m at the US box office over the weekend.