First picture of Benedict Cumberbatch as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appears

The 'Sherlock' actor stars as Assange in a new movie about the WikiLeaks saga

The first picture of Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange in a new movie about the WikiLeaks saga has been released.

The still, which appears at the top of this article, shows the Sherlock star sporting bleach blond hair for the role. He is pictured with his co-star Daniel Bruhl, who plays Assange’s right-hand man Daniel Domscheit-Berg.

Titled The Fifth Estate, the WikiLeaks movie began filming yesterday (January 22). It is being directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn) from a script by Josh Singer, who has written for Fringe and The West Wing. Singer based his script on two well-regarded books on the WikiLeaks story, including one written by Domscheit-Berg.

The film’s cast also includes Peter Capaldi, Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens, The Hurt Locker‘s Anthony Mackie and three-time Oscar nominee Laura Linney. The Fifth Estate is scheduled to open in the US on November 15, but the UK release date has yet to be confirmed.

In the meantime, Cumberbatch will be seen in sci-fi sequel Star Trek Into Darkness, in which he plays a mysterious villain called John Harrison. The film opens on May 17 – scroll down and click ‘play’ to watch the trailer.