I recently caught up with Alex Gibney’s terrific documentary “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks,” a no-nonsense study of Julian Assange’s rise and fall that plays, for all our familiarity with the elements at hand, very much as a thriller. Still, the material was bound to make for a narrative film sooner or later, and sooner it is: Bill Condon’s “The Fifth Estate” opens on October 18, presumably after premiering on the fall festival circuit. Now the first trailer for the film has landed, and it looks to be glossy, smart mainstream entertainment.
The film marks Condon’s return to dramatic material in the “Kinsey” vein after directing the final two installments of the “Twilight” franchise, and has a classy, suitably international cast, including Laura Linney (whom Condon directed to an Oscar nomination in “Kinsey”), Stanley Tucci, Alicia Vikander, Carice van Houten, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Peter Capaldi and “Downton Abbey” escapee Dan Stevens. All eyes, however, will be on Benedict Cumberbatch’s turn as the enigmatic, flaxen-haired Assange, and the trailer hints at a compelling characterization beneath the accoutrements of accent and coiffure.
Daniel Brühl, meanwhile, plays Assange’s colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg. This looks likely to be a breakout year for the German star, with Oscar talk already circulating for his turn as Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda in another biographical drama, Ron Howard’s “Rush.” His presence here can only help his cause.
Check out the trailer below, and share your thoughts in the comments.