Yes, you read that correctly and, yes, it looks like it could happen. “The man who leaked the world” has Hollywood up in arms and it’s not because there is a Cablegate in the works for Tinsel Town. Let’s not get our hopes up.
According to the Hollywood Reporter,
big studio executives are dueling it out for the rights to a biopic about the life of WikiLeaks architect, Julian Assange. You name ’em, they have a bid: Universal Pictures, Time Warner, DreamWorks Studios, etc.; everyone is vying for a slice of what could be a hack-fest blockbuster.
And for good reason: from the biggest leak of confidential files in history to his pending case in Sweden, Assange’s life has played out like a Jason Bourne novel. It’s no wonder why Hollywood wants to pour millions into an actual real-life spy story. No need for “Based on a true story…” when you have the history books for reference.
Except one thing is holding them back: the story of Julian Assange’s life is far from over. And what good is a movie without an ending?
Think about it. The loose ends in the WikiLeaks phenomenon are everywhere: Cablegate provocateur Bradley Manning’s case is still floating around the Justice Department, Assange still has the sex case floating around in Sweden and the organization just recently began publishing the Syria Files
– a trove of two millions e-mails from within the Syrian government. Also, the movie’s protagonist is still in the Ecuador embassy in London, seeking political asylum in the Central American country with the backing
of filmmakers Michael Moore and Oliver Stone.
With these points in mind, it looks like Assange’s story is only just beginning. And, for that reason, the studios are finding alternative ways to get the ball rolling
As of now, HBO Films, a subsidiary of Time Warner, has a documentary in the works based on a profile of Assange in the New Yorker. It will be directed by Charles Ferguson, the mind behind the financial crisis expose, Inside Job. But, as of now, it is in the development phase due to the loose ends mentioned above.
DreamWorks, as well, is basing the biopic on a memoir by a former WikiLeaks hacker entitled “Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World’s Most Dangerous Website.” However, it is coming to a brick wall for the same reason as the HBO case – the chapters are still being written every day.
Regardless, when this story does end – wherever, whenever and whatever that means – it is evident that a movie will be made about WikiLeaks. Who knows where Julian will be at that time or even if he will be involved in the movie – he could pull a Marc Zuckerberg and curse a film about himself all together or pull a Hunter S. Thompson and become a major part of the production team.
Either way, Hollywood is hungry for the biopic and, with the money they have to ivnest, they usually get what they want.