Julian Assange

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cashing in on Wiklileaks

It not just book offers, now it is movie scripts.

A scramble for multimillion-pound windfalls in the shape of two feature films is now on the table.

Mr Assange has confirmed he is in discussions with a studio on the possibilty of a feature film based on his autobiography, which is expected to be published in April.

Meanwhile back at the hollywood ranch, rival Hollywood studios Josephson Entertainment and Michelle Krumm Productions have jointly bought the rights to a biopic based on Australian journalist Andrew Fowler's biography of the internet campaigner, The Most Dangerous Man in the World, which has yet to be published.

Mr Assange set up the whistleblowing website in 2006. But was largely ignored until it published embarrasing extracts of US military documents alledgedly obtained by whistleblower Bradley Manning.

Last month, Mr Assange negotiated a book deal worth more than one million pounds. "WikiLeaks Versus the World: My Story" is published in the UK and at least another 12 countries on 7 April. Other books also claiming to give the "inside story" are being rushed into print. The cashing in race is on!

Public relations consultant Mark Borkowski, who was approached to handle publicity for the website after Mr Manning's revelations, said, with no apparent irony: "It's the most compelling story of our time. It's like Bourne Identity, 24 and James Bond all coming together. The face of Julian Assange will soon replace the Che Guevara image."

Mark Stephens, Mr Assange's London-based solicitor, has confirmed his client is now in talks with Hollywood while dismissing rival projects. "We refer to [them] as the biographies of the blind. Assange has been approached by a proper studio to make one, as opposed to a film of the blind." He added that any biopic that did not involve the man himself would have difficulty navigating libel law.

The saga continues.

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