Bradley Manning, the United States Army soldier who in 2010 was arrested for having passed along classified materials to the website WikiLeaks, was found not guilty on Tuesday on charges of "aiding the enemy," but was convicted on 17 of 22 charges -- including five counts of espionage and theft. Even though the verdict is only a day old, already several movies are in the works, looking to dramatize Manning's story.
Last year, Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney ("No End in Sight," "Taxi to the Dark Side") and producer Marc Shmuger, the filmmakers behind this year's "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks," optioned the rights to Denver Nicks's nonfiction account "Private: Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks, and the Biggest Exposure of Official Secrets in American History."
According to Variety, Gibney and Shmuger are looking to develop a drama, rather than another documentary like "We Steal Secrets."
In September, "The Fifth Estate," which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, will open the Toronto International Film Festival. Bill Condon, who had previously mixed fact and fiction with his wonderful films "Gods and Monsters" and "Kinsey," directed "The Fifth Estate." Also, financier Megan Ellison of Annapurna Films and "Zero Dark Thirty" writer/producer Mark Boal recently optioned a New York Times piece by Bill Keller about what would have happened if Manning had actually gotten the documents directly to the New York Times, as he had originally intended.
Manning has been indicted, which is the end (for some) to a very long story, but the tale of Manning and WikiLeaks is far from over -- at least on the big screen.