Rumours are mounting that Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch could be playing the WikiLeaks founder in an upcoming Dreamworks movie.

When the production company snapped up the rights to the biographies WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War On Secrecy by David Leigh and Luke Harding and Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange At The World’s Most Dangerous Website by Domscheit-Berg back in March, the rumour mill went into overdrive as everyone speculated who would land the challenging and important lead role. Bourne Legacy star Jeremy Renner was most pundits’ favourite for the part, but now it looks like Dreamworks might be looking across the pond to one of Britain’s (swiftly) rising stars.

While by no means confirmed by the studio itself, Deadline reports that the Sherlock star and future Star Trek 2 villain could be stepping into the controversial shoes of every politician’s worst nightmare.

Assange launched WikiLeaks in 2006, and hit headlines all over the world after the company revealed a wealth of sensitive cables, documents and secrets from the world’s governments. However, the Australian is currently battling criminal convictions of sexual assault from Sweden, and while the film’s conclusion is yet to be decided by a string of court cases, Fringe writer Josh Singer has plenty of material to work with for the screenplay.

Benedict Cumberbatch could well have landed himself the lead role, but he’s not the only actor to land a coveted role in the as-yet-untitled biopic. Robocop‘s Joel Kinnaman is also said to be in talks for the part of Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Assange’s former right hand man.

While shooting on Sherlock series 3 doesn’t kick off until next January, the British actor has been keeping himself busy with a string of big Hollywood roles. He’ll next be seen opposite BBC co-star Martin Freeman in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, with star turns in August: Osage County and Twelve Years A Slave also on the cards.

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