Veteran blockbuster director Steven Spielberg this week bought the rights to Guardian journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding’s book WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy, kicking off a chain of events that will do doubt culminate in a Hollywood treatment of the notorious whistle blower’s story.

It was always a question of when rather than if a big budget WikiLeaks dramatization would be made; the real life story is too famous and too riveting to escape Hollywood’s clutches. The film — yet to receive a title or an official green light — will reportedly be an investigative thriller produced by Dreamworks.

The Guardian broke the story. Here’s a snippet:

Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of Guardian News & Media, said: “The Guardian’s unique collaboration with WikiLeaks led to what some have described as one of the greatest journalistic scoops of the last 30 years.”

Discussing the proposed film, he added: “It’s Woodward and Bernstein meets Stieg Larsson meets Jason Bourne. Plus the odd moment of sheer farce and, in Julian Assange, a compelling character who goes beyond what any Hollywood scriptwriter would dare to invent.”

There are currently at least two other WikiLeaks projects in the works: a documentary by Alex Gigbey (director of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) and another biopic co-produced by HBO and the BBC.

There’s a widespread assumption that Spielberg will want to direct a project as potentially big as this one. His non-fiction films include Munich (2005), Catch Me If You Can (2002) and Schindler’s List (1993).

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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