Steven Spielberg's company DreamWorks has purchased the rights to 'Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website', written by WikiLeaks defector Daniel Domscheit-Berg and 'WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy', written by The Guardian reporters David Leigh and Luke Harding.
WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have been highly critical of those two books and replied to the news via their Twitter feed saying:
“This is how bullshit ends up being history. Spielberg lines up WikiLeaks film based on books by opportunists.”
The Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger described the proposed film as:
"Woodward and Bernstein meets Stieg Larsson meets Jason Bourne. Plus the odd moment of sheer farce and, in Julian Assange, a compelling character who goes beyond what any Hollywood scriptwriter would dare to invent."Russbridger also said:
"The Guardian's unique collaboration with WikiLeaks led to what some have described as one of the greatest journalistic scoops of the last 30 years."Insiders are speculating that since DreamWorks bought both Domscheit-Berg's book and Leigh and Harding's book that they may be planning a fictionalized thriller. Mike Fleming of the industry website Deadline Hollywood said:
"The revelations from the unprecedented leak of diplomatic cables have transformed the journalistic landscape forever."
"WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War On Secrecy is a gripping account of the events which led to Cablegate and will make for a thrilling film."
"A good template for what they are thinking is The Social Network, where Aaron Sorkin not only used the Ben Mezrich book The Accidental Billionaires as a resource, but gathered actual testimony from the lawsuits filed against Mark Zuckerberg that detailed the formation of Facebook and provided high drama."Other WikiLeaks projects in the works include Josephson Entertainment's biopic titled 'The Most Dangerous Man in the World', produced by Michelle Krumm and Barry Josephson and based on the biography of the same name by Andrew Fowler, Mark Boal and Megan Ellison are making a WikiLeaks movie based on a New York Times article by Bill Keller, a documentary by film-maker Alex Gibney and a biopic based on a New Yorker article by Raffi Khatchadourian, co-produced by the BBC and the HBO.
Assange’s U.K. lawyer Mark Stephens has called the books about Assange not written by him “biographies of the blind", and said:
“Assange films & books are puffery by people without knowledge of his life.”Lawyers for Julian Assange have filed an appeal against Judge Howard Riddle's ruling that Assange, who is still under house arrest at Ellingham Hall in Norfolk,UK, should be extradited to Sweden because he felt Assange could get a fair trial in Sweden and that his extradition to Sweden would not violate his human rights.
Assange has been fighting extradition to Sweden where he has not been charged with anything but is wanted for questioning by the Swedish police about accusations of rape and sexual molestation made against him by Sofia Wilen and Anna Ardin. Assange denies the allegations and says he had consensual sex with the two women.
Assange and his lawyers fear that if he is extradited to Sweden he may then be extradited to the United States, where he could face torture, confinement at Guantanamo Bay, both, or even the death penalty.
Assange has angered the United States with the releasing of leaked embarrassing diplomatic cables, the classified documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the 'Collateral Murder' video.