The WikiLeaks story got still weirder Tuesday (Dec. 7) when its founder, Julian Assange, turned himself in to British police over a sex-crimes investigation in Sweden, then was refused bail after vowing he’d fight extradition.
That’s on top of the ongoing controversy over WikiLeaks’ release of diplomatic cables and intelligence reports, promised revelations about a big U.S. bank and Assange’s pledge to release a heavily encrypted “insurance” file if anything should happen to him. We’re not the first people to remark that it all sounds like some twisted spy movie — and we’re also pretty certain that more than one writer is bent over his or her laptop working on a treatment for “WikiLeaks: The Film.”
]]>who should portray him? We’ve got that covered for several different scenarios. If he’s the hero: If you fall on the side of the debate that nothing a government does should be secret, then a David-and-Goliath story about a lone whistleblower (or the public face of numerous whistleblowers, at any rate) is the movie you want to see. We see Paul Bettany (currently in “The Tourist” and pictured above with Assange) as Assange. If he’s the villain: This version of the story — which is probably the one the U.S. government hopes plays out — would star someone like Russell Crowe as the dogged G-man who pursued Assange to the ends of the earth. Bettany would work for this version of the role too, actually. Plus, hey — “A Beautiful Mind” reunion! If he’s an antihero: This might be told from the perspective of someone who works with Assange but comes to question whether the mission he signed up for is what WikiLeaks is really doing now. (Which, by the way, has happened, if not exactly in a movie-ready way.) Think of this as “The Social Network” structure, with Assange — maybe played by Jeremy Renner or Dominic West, both of whom are pictured at right — as the Mark Zuckerberg character and an earnest, Daniel Radcliffe type as his disillusioned colleague, a la Eduardo Saverin. If it’s a comedy: No, really — we’re thinking of something along the lines of Steven Soderbergh‘s underrated “The Informant!” from last year. We’re thinking someone like Eric Bana or Rob Lowe — heck, maybe even James Franco — has the necessary charisma to kill it. What do you think? Who would you cast in a WikiLeaks movie?