Bradley Manning might only recently have been found guilty of espionage after leaking thousands of classified US military documents, but that hasn’t stopped Hollywood planning in advance a film based around his story. Alex Gibney, the award winning documentary maker behind We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, won the rights to Denver Nicks’ book about his case and Gibney, along with producer Marc Shmuger, has the idea with writers, feverishly working on a script.
However, it won’t be the first WikiLeaks inspired film with The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange, the founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, due to be released shortly.
Ever since there’s been an internet, there’ve been movies about it. Here’s a selection of some of the better ones.
Untraceable stars Diane Lane as FBI agent Jennifer Marsh who specialises in internet crime. She finds herself in charge of investigating a supposedly untraceable serial killer who transmits live footage of his victims on the internet. It’s a slamming indictment of modern culture and our fascination with the macabre, as the more hits his site get, the faster his victims die, each kill more inventive and gruesome than the last; tragically, but unsurprisingly, the more he kills, the more popular his site becomes.
The film also features Colin Hanks, Tom Hanks’ son, as a fellow agent, Griffin Dowd, and the film is well worth watching for his final scene alone. However, the movie received mainly negative reviews, most notably because despite the fact that the film purports to be critical of those who enjoy watching violent scenes, it itself indulges in exactly the kind of behaviour it decries. However, despite such perceived hypocrisy, it is difficult to imagine how the story could be told without such scenes, although it does slide into horror cliché towards the end.