James McAvoy in Talks to Join Wikileaks Film

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 9th, 2013 at 2:03 pm,

mcavoy James McAvoy in Talks to Join Wikileaks Film

Just a few short years ago, James McAvoy was best known to audiences for his role as the half-human, half-goat Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. However, in the years since, the Scottish actor has seen his career expand from Oscar bait like The Last King of Scotland and Atonement to big-budget Hollywood fare like Wanted and X-men: First Class.

That eclectic mix of films indicates that McAvoy has little worry about becoming typecast and is willing to take on a risky, even controversial project without a second thought. In his career, he’s already tackled political drama, period romance, high-octane action and superhero spectacle. However, despite risking fanboy ire by taking on the role of young Professor Charles Xavier, McAvoy is now set to take on his most divisive project to date.

According to Variety, McAvoy is in talks to star alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in Dreamworks’ untitled Wikileaks film. The actor would play Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the author whose book Inside Wikileaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website serves as the basis for the film. The studio acquired the rights to both that book and Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy, and both will serve as inspirations for the film’s screenplay.

Since McAvoy’s character is responsible for one of several books on Assange – whom Cumberbatch will play – it’s looking likely that the relationship between the two will serve as the emotional centerpiece of the film. A German tech expert, Domscheit-Berg was recruited by Assange to join the whistle-blowing website in 2007 and ultimately became its spokesperson. Expect the film then to focus on the falling-out between these two former friends, as an ideological difference pushes them in opposite directions.

mcavoy2 James McAvoy in Talks to Join Wikileaks Film

Given the tenuous friendship between its two leads, the Wikileaks project sounds like it shares a similar character dynamic to that of Professor X and Magneto in X-men: First Class. It makes perfect sense then for the studio to turn to McAvoy, who has proven he can fold complex characters arcs into beautifully understated performances. His growing star power probably doesn’t hurt, either. If the Wikileaks film turns out right, it could prove to be an awards contender and critical darling like The Social Network was in 2010.

Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Dreamgirls) will direct the Wikileaks film, and while The Hurt Locker scribe Mark Boal was reportedly in the running to adapt the aforementioned books to screen, Variety reports that Josh Singer will handle scripting duties. Singer has written several episodes of shows like Fringe, Lie to Me and The West Wing.

Production will begin sometime next year, according to McAvoy’s schedule. The actor recently finished filming two-part drama The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby with Jessica Chastain and is signed to return for Bryan Singer’s X-men: Days of Future Past.

Stay tuned for further details on the Wikileaks film (including an official title) as this story develops.

Source: Variety

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TAGS: wikileaks

15 Comments

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  1. James McAvoy is the real deal and why he flies below the radar while actors
    like Fassbender and even Cumberbatch get more attention is a mystery to me.

    • I know right? This man is praised throughout the business as a top tier actor.

    • Totally. I don’t get the current trend with putting down Mcavoy… They’re all good actors but people are acting like they knew both Fassbender and Cumberbatch before First Class and Sherlock, since Hunger and Hawking, which is if not highly, then slightly unlikely. Good for them for getting recognition but let’s not diss on others.

    • Couldn’t agree more; actually this is the best comment I’ve seen on the internet for a long, long time.

      It’s really sad to be actors like Fassbender and Cumberbatch being praised everywhere while James is out of the limelight. When, just like you said, HE is the real deal.

      Hopefully this will finally change next year…James has some amazing films being released in 2013. It’s about time his talent is recognized.

    • Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch are both very talented and equally as so with James. Why the hate?

      • There is nobodies fault but James why he isn’t as popular. he doesn’t choose limelight roles. he is a great actor as is Benedict and michael

        • Not to mention that he’s got like ten fans altogether… which is unfortunate. No wonder they tend to overcompensate… So I wouldn’t say there’s hate directed at the other thespians, but more a frustration on the part of James’ fanbase. It’s not like they can compete or make as much noise as the other ones.

          • Better to have ten fans than to have a bunch of hysterical fanatics as a fanbase.

            I have a friend who likes Sherlock but she always says the show and Cumberbatch have probably the worst fanbase there is and she wants to keep as much distance from it as she can. It’s embarrassing.

            Now THAT is unfortunate.

        • James is doing the right thing – he’s choosing interesting projects and he’s only interested in acting. So obviously it’s not his fault.

          If I had to blame anything, I would blame the media, because they build obsessions. Suddenly an actor like Fassbender is the only one you must be interested in, and people start to feel left out of theirs facebook social lives if they don’t consider the man the best actor since Brando or something. It’s ridiculous.

          • On this note, I’d like to address the problem of the A-list bonanza… that has more to do with how bankable a certain actor is, not with how rabid, a bigger or smaller fanbase is. Let’s be honest, people confuse over-exposure with bonafide stardom… Problem is that decent scripts are few and if they get made, they either go unseen or are overshadowed by pseudo-indies and Academy no-brainer baits.
            Anyway, as far as the fans’issue goes, I think that overall, excessive stanning tends to hurt the fan-bases in the long haul. And I sincerely doubt that all the immature and agressive, bordeline trolls, are 13 of age. (P.S.: this is a general comment in no way singling out a group or another).

            • This is a very interesting and well-thought commentary; I agree with many of your points of view. In the end, it’s just sad that good actors – and I’m not talking only about James – go somehow unnoticed because they’re not over-exposed. Because good acting has nothing to do with how many times you’re on the cover of GQ mag. At least it shouldn’t be.

  2. Not interested in this film, regardless of who is starring in it, as Julian Assange is a criminal, and I don’t doubt that the writers/producers of the movie will glorify him.

  3. The focus on McAvoy is ridiculous. Its Cumberbatch that has the meatier role. Plus another great role as Brian Epstein in Tom Hanks produced bio pic. As the Robocop actor Joel Kinnaman was also tested for the McAvoy role I think I can work out who has the better role.

    I feel rather sorry for Mcavoy stuck in a thankless role while Fassbender has all the fun in the next X Men film.

  4. James will steal this film from under Cumberbatch’s nose and ugly face. Just wait.

    • LOL! Blue, you sound like a 13 y-o!