The Fifth Estate is a 2013 thriller film directed by Bill Condon, about the news-leaking website WikiLeaks. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as its editor-in-chief and founder Julian Assange, and Daniel Brühl as its former spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Alicia Vikander, Stanley Tucci, and Laura Linney are featured in supporting roles. The film's screenplay was written by Josh Singer based in-part on Domscheit-Berg's book Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website (2011), as well as WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy (2011) by British journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding. The film's name is a term used to describe the people who operate in the manner of journalists outside the normal constraints imposed on the mainstream media.
Co-produced by DreamWorks Pictures and Participant Media, The Fifth Estate premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, and was released in theaters by Touchstone Pictures in the United States on October 18, 2013, with international distribution divided among Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Reliance Entertainment, and independent arrangements by Mister Smith Entertainment. The film performed poorly at the box office and garnered mixed critical reaction, receiving criticism for its screenplay and direction; however, praise was given on the acting, particularly Cumberbatch's performance.