Spielberg gets rights to WikiLeaks book for film

You won't see director Steven Spielberg in the new series "Terra Nova," which was picked up by Fox, but he's one of the executive producers of the futuristic series, which centers around a family that joins a pilgrimage to resettle the planet in prehistoric times. AP Photo

Director Steven Spielberg arrives before the 83rd Academy Awards Feb. 27, 2011, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.
AP Photo
Julian Assange might soon be getting the Mark Zuckerberg treatment.

The Guardian newspaper of London reported Wednesday that Hollywood icon Steven Spielberg secured the rights to a book written by Guardian journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding about the infamous founder of the document-dumping website WikiLeaks.

Special Section: WikiLeaks

The site came under fire last year for disseminating classified State Department memos and U.S. government logs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

DreamWorks, the studio Spielberg founded with producers Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen in 1994, will back the untitled project, which still needs a cast, director and screenwriter, the Guardian reported.

The ending may also be up in the air. Assange is under so-called "mansion arrest" in England while fighting extradition to Sweden for a sex crimes charge, which he denies. A British court granted the Swedish government's request to extradite Assange, and he is appealing the ruling. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the Swedish Bar Association is investigating one of Assange's lawyers for allegedly providing misleading statements during the extradition proceedings.

"60 Minutes" Coverage of Julian Assange

Assange: WikiLeaks Played "Inside the Rules"
Julian Assange, The Man Behind WikiLeaks
Julian Assange: The "60 Minutes" Interview
Segment: Julian Assange, Part 1
Segment: Julian Assange, Part 2
Extra: Assange Stays on the Move
Extra: Assange's Defense & Daniel Ellsberg
Extra: Assange On Playing By The Rules

DreamWorks has also secured the rights to a book written by a former Assange associate, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the Guardian reported, prompting speculation that the film will resemble last year's "The Social Network." The film, which won an Oscar Sunday for best adapted screenplay, told a story about the creation of Facebook and its founder using information from lawsuits filed against Zuckerberg and the book "The Accidental Billionaires."

Oscar Winners 2011: The Complete List

Other WikiLeaks movies being developed include one by Alex Gibney, who directed the Oscar-nominated documentary "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," the Guardian reported.

  • Alex Sundby

    Alex Sundby is an associate news editor for CBSNews.com

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