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Julian Assange™ telemovie coming to Oz TV

Portrait of the artist as a young hacker

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The early hacker activist life of Julian Assange is set to be immortalised in a television drama for Australia’s Network Ten.

The two hour telemovie called Underground will be directed and written by Robert Connolly, the director of Balibo.

Assange will be played by acting newcomer Alex Williams while Rachel Griffiths will play Christine, Assange's mother and Anthony LaPaglia will take the role of a policeman investigating the young hacker.

The telemovie will draw from the 1997 book Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier by Suelette Dreyfus, which chronicles the tales of a group of neophyte Australian, American, and British hackers of the late 1980s and early 1990s including the notorious long-haired, early 20’s Assange.

The book covers Australia’s first significant trial for computer crimes which revolved around the convicted hackers Phoenix, Electron and Nom . While the book also provides the first glimpse of Australian Mendax (Julian Assange) in action who along with Prime Suspect, penetrated the DDN, NIC and the Nortel internal network.

Connolly also collaborated on the script with Australian journalist Mark Davis, who, when Assange was relatively unknown and on the run, traveled extensively with him through Europe.

Melbourne based production company Matchbox is behind the project, which most likely means that it will also be screened in the US on NBC as NBC Universal recently took a majority stake in the company. ®

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