I was at dinner the other night and we started to talk about the rise and fall of Wikileaks. We got on the kick about how this whole story could be made into a movie. However, I started thinking about the movies that were already made – some of them american classics. It posed the question – would Wikileaks have changed a movie plot if it was around at that time?
I thought I would highlight 10 movies that might have been made differently – or not made at all – if Wikileaks was around at that time. We explore the synopsis and analyze the script for how it would change.
10. They Live (1988)
Leave it to Rowdy Roddy Piper to find trouble through a set of Ray-Bans. A John Carpenter novel, Piper plays a drifter that runs into a conspiracy from an alien race. They put subliminal advertising everywhere to keep the population subordinate. The only way to see them or the signage is through a pair of special glasses.
If Wikileaks was around: Not only would the documentation of said aliens had come forward, but also a document on how to make the special glasses. Roddy Piper wouldn’t have to show off his wrestling skills and we would have banished this alien race long ago.
9. The Insider (1999)
What is interesting is that I just watched this movie earlier in the week. It was about one of the biggest cover-ups in the world: the Tobacco industry.
This movie was actually based on a real life situation where a tobacco whistle blower does an interview for the CBS show “60 minutes”. Russel Crowe plays Dr. Jeffrey Wigand, who had information on how big tobacco knew that nicotine was adictive. Al Pacino played Lowell Bergman, a producer who first got the scoop, but was then held down by not only legal gag orders, but also CBS corporate.
If Wikileaks was around: The full depo would have been put online within 48 hours – That is, unless another whistle blower didn’t do it earlier. 60 minutes would not have the scoop and this situation would have been published in less than a month. Further, CBS legal and especially Mike Wallace’s defiance to air the story for a multi-billion dollar lawsuit might have surfaced a couple months later.
8. Good Morning Vietnam (1987)
Robin Williams played a Rock n Roll DJ Adrian Crownauer in the Vietnam war. During the movie, he befriends a local and falls in love with his sister. He finds out how news is suppressed in Vietnam, but more important, he finds out who his friends are, as his friend, Tuan, was working with the Viet cong. Coming under scrutiny between the government that hired him and the actual war, Crownauer is conflicted between job and country.
If Wikileaks was around: They would have hired DJ Adrian Crownauer to head up one of the many Wikileaks podcasts, so the news could be told properly. Of course, Wikileaks might have also been the death of many young Vietnamese kids that were thought to be supporters of the Viet Cong.
Let the witch drum trials begin…
7. The Hunt for Red October (1990)
Sean Connery plays a Russian Captain that plans to defect to the US, taking Russia’s newest nuclear submarine with him. Alec Baldwin plays the US agent that is assigned to find this rogue sub and determine if they come in peace or come to attack the U.S.
If Wikileaks was around: The nuclear sub with the “Caterpillar” engine specs would have been up online. Further, the memoirs of Captain Marko Ramius would have surfaced, which could have made his defection a little harder to do.
6. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
In this Alfred Hitchcock suspense film, James Stewart and Doris Day are vacationing in Morocco. They stumble upon an assassination plot, which they feel compelled to get into the middle of. The conspirators are determined to keep them away so the assassination can go forward.
If Wikileaks was around: Well, the whole assassination plot would have been discovered already and the family would have had a wonderful Moroccan vacation. Mark one up for Wikileaks…
Also makes you wonder if Hitchcock would have had a career in film.
5. Three Days of the Condor (1975)
A Sydney Pollack film. Robert Redford is a US intelligence reader who finds out his colleagues are out to kill him. He becomes a marked man and has to figure out what is going on and why he is targeted. He uses Faye Dunaway to keep him safe as Max Von Sydow hunts him down.
If Wikileaks was around: Let’s start with the fact that the whole movie would be a lot greener, because everything would be on the internet and there is no need for all that paper.
The US Intelligence agency would have had their hands full anyway as they battle to bring Wikileaks down. Redford might have been assigned to determine what was on the Wikileeaks site and how it impacts the US – not to mention find any hidden meanings behind the documents – including a CIA inside the CIA.
Redford couldn’t remember his codename was “Condor”. He could possibly find his, as well as the other character’s code names – like S.W. Wicks.
Finally, the end of the movie, Redford sends his findings to the New York Times. The last line spoken from J. Higgins (Cliff Robertson) was “How do you know they will publish it?” Redford could reply – Because I sent it to Wikileaks, too.
4. A Few Good Men (1992)
Tom Cruise is a Lawyer for the Navy who is put on assignment to find out why a Marine is dead and two personnel are being court-marshaled. The murder happened during a “Code Red” . During the investigation, Lt. Kaffee (Tom Cruise) and Lt. Galloway (Demi Moore) start to uncover the truth about Col. Jessep (Jack Nicholson).
If Wikileaks was around: The whole account of Col. Jessep’s tactics would have been documented. In fact, all activity reports of Marines would have been posted. Tom Cruise, Demi Moore and Kevin Pollack would have been reassigned to the legal battle of the publication of said documents on the Wikileaks site.
3. The Manchurian Candidate (1962, 2004 [remake])
Well, what do you know. There’s a remake, too….
An Army soldier comes home from Korea (or Desert Storm). He was brainwashed by the enemy to assassinate the president. It’s up to his friends and soldiers to figure out what is going on.
If Wikileaks was around: Lets hope that Wikileaks documents are just as good from Korea (or Iraq) as the US. That would have documented a list of names that the enemy brainwashed. We could then intercept the soldiers and give them proper treatment.
2. War Games (1983)
Do you want to play a game? A young computer hacker finds his way into a military computer via a backdoor that the creator made. While he believes this is a server full of new games that is coming out, he starts playing “Global Thermonuclear War”. Little does he know that the game is actually a strategy program that starts the countdown for World War III.
If Wikileaks was around: We live in a day where you cannot take a pop-top and turn it into a free call on a pay phone. Of course, we don’t have pop-tops OR payphones in the middle of nowhere anymore..
Still, there are a lot of things that would be found on Wikileaks. A back door where you can play a series of games would definitely be one of them. More important, If Professor Falken was trying to “dissapear”, I think you could find a document that would show he is not really dead.
Then again, this might not get to Wikileaks as much as the hacker community would have gotten to the back door first.
1. Conspiracy Theory (1997)
A man obsessed with conspiracy theories has found one that is actually true. He falls in love with a woman working for the government, but also stirs up danger as he tries to decode the conspiracy.
If Wikileaks was around: Where to start? I suppose the fact that Jerry Fletcher (Mel Gibson) might have been working for Wikileaks to begin with. Maybe as a major supplier of information – whether corroborated or not. After all, he did have a underground newspaper of government cover-ups. If he had a resource like Wikileaks at his fingertips, he would definitely have fuel for his fire.
Who knows, he could have even been Julian Assange’s right-hand man…
Honorable Mention: Minority Report
Not only will they have government data from the present, they might also have information for future events.
Honorable Mention: the Matrix
We have to look at how Wikileaks would work in this movie. Would there be a Wikileaks in the virtual world? If so, I would guess that data would get controlled by the Matrix computer, right?
The Wikileaks outside the Matrix would have a different job – mostly a way to save the data so we can see the repetition (or reboot) of the Matrix. How many times DID Neo defeat the Matrix? More important, was there a time he didn’t and how did they go about resetting the simulation?
Honorable Mention: The Naked Gun – from the Files of Police Squad
Just like with the Manchurian Candidate, we might have been on to Vincent Ludwig’s (Ricardo Montalban) plan to brainwash people to kill the Queen of England. Documents would have been a little harder to receive, since it was part of a private organization. I bet some whistle-blower out there would have documented it, though.
There are a lot more movies out there that could be changed if the controversial site was on a BBS back in the 20th century. Then again, now that the site is down, the imaginations of writers can stay intact as they don’t have to worry about documents being published. Which movies would you have liked to seen on the list?
I am not really for Wikileaks – this is just a humorous look at how our lives today are a lot different than 10 or more years ago. If anything, this is a good list of movies you might want to watch during movie night. They are all entertaining.