Some consider him a hero, others a villain, but regardless of where you fall on your feelings for Assange, it is hard to deny that he has an interesting story to tell. HBO and Universal Studios are both banking on that, as both have projects in the pipeline about Assange.
Deadline is reporting that an original movie is in the works at HBO. The film will draw from several sources, including an in-depth New Yorker article from June of 2010 by Raffi Khatchadourian, which followed Assange and the WikiLeaks staff as they prepared to release a video of a U.S. Army helicopter attack. The film will be funded by HBO and its frequent financial partner, the BBC.
The second project was just announced at Sundance, and it will be a documentary from Universal to be directed by Academy Award winner Alex Gibney (Academy Award nominee for best documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Academy Award winner for best documentary Taxi to the Dark Side).
It is too early to guess on when each project would be released, or whether they will end up competing directly against each other or not.
Assange also recently announced that he would be writing an autobiography. He will earn $1.3 million for the upcoming book, and has said that the money is necessary to pay his legal fees and to keep WikiLeaks afloat.
Assange is currently in England on bail and under house arrest while awaiting an extradition hearing on charges of sexual offences in Sweden. The hearing is set for February 7 and 8.
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