Benedict Cumberbatch to star as WikiLeaks founder in new movie

'Sherlock' star set to play Julian Assange in a film about the controversial whistleblower

Benedict Cumberbatch is being lined up to star as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a new movie about the controversial whistleblower, according to reports.

DreamWorks has acquired the screen rights to two well-regarded books on the WikiLeaks story, including one written by Assange’s former right-hand man Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Screenwriter Josh Singer, who has worked on Fringe and The West Wing, has provided the script.

Initially, The Hurt Locker‘s Jeremy Renner was linked to the film, but according to Deadline, Cumberbatch is now frontrunner to play Assange. New RoboCop star Joel Kinnaman is in the frame to play Domscheit-Berg.

Meanwhile, DreamWorks is eyeing Twilight: Breaking Dawn director Bill Condon to helm its WikiLeaks movie. At present, several other Hollywood studios are said to be planning films about Assange and his whistleblower website.

Cumberbatch, 36, has been increasingly in demand since the BBC’s Sherlock became a big international hit. He is set to play the villain in the new Star Trek movie, due next year, and also has a role in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy.

At the end of August (2012), he was cast alongside Meryl Streep in August Osage County, a Hollywood adaptation of an award-winning stage play. He has also found time to film a cameo in The Simpsons.