Wikileaks biopic star Cumberbatch emails Julian Assange

Ben Arnold

Benedict Cumberbatch has reportedly struck up an email friendship with Julian Assange.

The 'Start Trek' actor is set to play the founder of WikiLeaks in forthcoming biopic, 'The Fifth Estate', being made by Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks studio.

[Related story: Assange slates WikiLeaks film]

Assange had previously described the film in an address to the Oxford Union as 'a massive propaganda attack on Wikileaks and the character of my staff', calling it 'lie on lie'.

He added that the screenplay, which he had obtained a copy of, was 'fanning the flames of war' with Iran.

But it appears Assange, who has sought asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy fleeing sex charges being levelled against him in Sweden, may have changed his mind since taking up with Cumberbatch online.

A source told The Sun: “When filming began things changed. Their email relationship is the talk of the set. Assange now thinks Benedict better understands his actions and motivations.”

Cumberbatch, who has now finished his work on the film, had previously requested access to Assange in the embassy, but was rebuffed by the Australian activist.

Directed by Bill Condon, who helmed the final two 'Twilight' films, 'The Fifth Estate' also stars Daniel Brühl as Assange's colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg, David Thewlis as journalist Nick Davies and Peter Capaldi as Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger.