Benedict Cumberbatch As Wikileaks' Julian Assange In 'The Fifth Estate' (PICTURE)

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The first official photo of Benedict Cumberbatch as Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been released.

The 'Sherlock' star is taking on the role of the controversial Australian journalist for Dreamworks' film 'The Fifth Estate', which tells the story of the whistle-blowing website.

the fifth estate

Cumberbatch as Assange and Brühl as Domscheit-Berg

In the film, directed by 'Twilight's Bill Condon, Cumberbatch stars alongside Daniel Brühl ('Inglourious Basterds') as German tech activist Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who served as a spokesman for Wikileaks until 2010 and then wrote 'Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website'.

Assange is currently holed up inside Ecuador's embassy in London, where he has been since June in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations. He has stated he would happily go to Stockholm, providing the Swedish government guaranteed he would not be extradited on to the US.

julian assange

Assange speaks to the media and members of the public from a balcony at the Ecuadorian Embassy

Before Cumberbatch appears on screen as Assange, he will first play the villain in 'Star Trek 2', released on 17 May 2013. 'The Fifth Estate' is due in US cinemas on 15 November, while a UK release date has yet to be announced.

It was recently reported 'Downton Abbey' star Dan Stevens could be joining the cast as a hacker who comes to work for the whistleblowing site.

Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie and David Thewlis also star.

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