WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange wants Benedict Cumberbatch to publicly disown The Fifth Estate, the upcoming film in which the actor portrays the mastermind behind the famed whistleblower website.
A letter the embattled Assange wrote Cumberbatch back in January rejecting the latter's request to meet before filming began has surfaced on WikiLeaks' website.
In it, Assange praises the British star's acting abilities but suggests that his participation in the Bill Condon-directed thriller will "distort" the public's understanding of Assange and his nonprofit's championing of transparency and "bury good people doing good work."
"I believe you are a good person, but I do not believe that this film is a good film. I do not believe it is going to be positive for me or the people I care about," wrote the former hacker turned publisher, adding that The Fifth Estate s based on two "toxic" books, one of which was written by "someone who has a vendetta against me and my organization."
He continued: "You will be used, as a hired gun, to assume the appearance of the truth in order to assassinate it. To present me as someone morally compromised and to place me in a falsified history. To create a work, not of fiction, but of debased truth."
For those keeping track, Assange has been holed up inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he's been granted diplomatic immunity. He took refuge there after authorities in the U.K. agreed to extradite him to Sweden to face questioning pertaining to a sexual assault investigation, but he's claimed the case is merely an excuse so Sweden can extradite him to the United States to face charges over the leaking of secret diplomatic cables.
Hence the plea to Cumberbatch.
"I believe that you should reconsider your involvement in this enterprise," wrote Assange. "Consider the consequences of your cooperation with a project that vilifies and marginalizes a living political refugee to the benefit of an entrenched, corrupt and dangerous state."
He concluded: "I believe you are well intentioned, but surely you can see why it is a bad idea for me to meet with you. By meeting with you, I would validate this wretched film, and endorse the talented, but debauched, performance that the script will force you to give."
In subsequent press interviews after production wrapped, Benedict noted that he exchanged emails with Assange but never was able to sit down with his real-life subject. And it doesn't sound like Julian has seen The Fifth Estate, either.
The flick will be released Friday in the U.K. and hit theaters in the U.S. on Oct. 18.
To read Assange's letter in full, click here.