Principal photography has started on the WikiLeaks drama The Fifth Estate. Directed by Bill Condon, the film about the controversial website stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Parade's End) as Julian Assange and Daniel Brühl as Daniel Domscheit-Berg, as well as Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Peter Capaldi, Dan Stevens, Alicia Vikander and Carice van Houten. Flemish co-producer is Hilde De Laere for FBO.
Following Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Brühl), an early supporter and eventual colleague of Julian Assange (Cumberbatch), The Fifth Estate traces the heady, early days of WikiLeaks, culminating in the release of a series of controversial and history changing information leaks. The website’s overnight success brought instant fame to its principal architects and transformed the flow of information to news media and the world at large.
Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn) directs The Fifth Estate from a screenplay by Josh Singer (TV’s Fringe, The West Wing), based on “Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website” by Daniel Domscheit-Berg and “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy” by David Leigh and Luke Harding.
Producers are Steve Golin and Michael Sugar, with Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King joining Richard Sharkey as executive producers. The Fifth Estate is a co-production between Afterworks and FBO, with Hilde De Laere co-producing for FBO. De Laere previously produced Erik Van Looy's Loft, and co-produced its US remake The Loft, as well as Memory Of A Killer. The Fifth Estate is supported by the Belgian Tax Shelter for Audiovisual Production. Co-financing the film with DreamWorks is Participant Media which also teamed up with the studio on such films as Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, The Help and The Kite Runner.
The film is scheduled to open in US theaters on 15 November, 2013 and be distributed domestically by Disney’s Touchstone label. Distribution internationally will be split among Disney, DreamWorks partner Reliance, and deals made through the studio’s partnership with Mister Smith Entertainment.