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"The Fifth Estate," the controversial film about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, has a major hater: Julian Assange.
The biopic's star, Benedict Cumberbatch, reached out to the notorious publisher before filming to help his performance. Assange turned him down, and in an open letter in January, outlined why. Basically, he detests the very idea of the movie, as well as the book it is based on, Daniel Domscheit-Berg's "Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange and the World's Most Dangerous Website."
"I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this film is a good film," Assange writes of the "toxic" story.
"I believe that it is going to be overwhelmingly negative for me and the people I care about. It is based on a deceitful book by someone who has a vendetta against me and my organisation."
Assange also assailed the book/movie for its "cowardice" and "many distortions" of the truth. While he would've enjoyed meeting Cumberbatch (whose previous work he is "fond of"), Assange said that doing so would "validate this wretched film, and endorse the talented, but debauched, performance that the script will force you to give."
The team behind "The Fifth Estate" has brushed aside Assange's criticisms. "For a public figure, he is one of the most thin-skinned subjects I have ever seen," director Bill Condon told The New York Times.
"He believes and advocates for transparency, except where he is concerned. He doesn't realize it, but he has become the consummate tragic hero who sowed the seeds of his own demise."
Still, Assange isn't the only person who has a problem with the movie. "The Fifth Estate" has gotten a very low 41 percent score from Rotten Tomatoes.