It’s only January, and Julian Assange is already coming dangerously close to winning the Betty White 2010 Screen Junkies Overexposure Award. One day after his biography was optioned for a feature film, lauded documentary director Alex Gibney has gotten hired by Universal to produce a biography on the polarizing figure. Tomorrow’s Saturday, but by Monday, don’t be surprised to catch wind of March of the Assange coming to IMAX. Then, by Friday, Mr. Assange’s Wild Extradition Ride at Disneyland. What can we say? The man’s a brand.
Seeing a major studio jump on any type of documentary is rare, so Universal must believe that something special is going to happen here, either with the production of the movie, or with the public’s interest in the real-life story. Perhaps they picked it up anticipating or having obtained access to the man himself, whose got some legal bills to pay and could use the cash.
This doc will almost certainly beat the aforementioned biopic to theaters, but no date has been announced yet. Gibney has made a name for himself by directing docs on Enron, Eliot Spitzer, Jack Abramoff, Hunter S. Thompson, Guantanamo Bay, so it’s no surprise that he got the call for one of the most compelling sagas of 2010-2011. Even money says Assange sounds just like Hans Gruber from Die Hard. (Playlist)