Film studio secures screen rights to forthcoming biography about WikiLeaks founder
julian assange Cable guy … a film about Julian Assange is on the cards after a studio picked up the screen rights for a biography about the WikiLeaks founder.
It has all the ingredients for a big-screen tale of intrigue and conspiracy: the plucky underdog vying to buck the system, sexual complications and powerful government forces with secrets to hide.
WikiLeaks: the Movie moved a step closer to reality yesterday after studio executives picked up the screen rights to the forthcoming Julian Assange biography The Most Dangerous Man in the World by award-winning Australian writer Andrew Fowler. The book details Assange’s life from his childhood on Magnetic Island in Queensland, Australia, all the way through to his founding of the whistleblower website in 2006 to publish classified material.
Assange has been labelled “a high-tech terrorist” by his foes and “the internet’s freedom fighter” by his supporters. In November, WikiLeaks scored its most high-profile coup to date when it partnered with the Guardian to publish over 250,000 secret US diplomatic cables. The full story story of the WikiLeaks scandal is covered in WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy, a behind-the-scenes account by the Guardian’s investigation editor David Leigh and Moscow correspondent Luke Harding. The WikiLeaks book will be published by the Guardian on February 10.
Assange incurred the ire of US authorities by publishing cables concerning American involvement in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has also revealed details of toxic waste dumping in Africa and Guantánamo Bay procedures, as well as putting the contents of Church of Scientology manuals online.
The journalist and publisher remains on bail awaiting the outcome of an extradition request from Swedish authorities who want to question him over allegations of a sexual nature by two women. He is also writing an autobiography after agreeing to a $1m deal in December – in part to offset his mounting legal costs.
Producers Barry Josephson and Michelle Krumm, who have optioned The Most Dangerous Man in the World, say they are planning a “suspenseful drama” in the vein of All the President’s Men and with the thrill of a Tom Clancy novel. “As soon as I met Andrew and read a few chapters of his profound book, I knew that – with his incredibly extensive depth of knowledge – it would enable us to bring a thought-provoking thriller to the screen,” Krumm told Variety.
As yet no director is attached to the project and there are no cast details