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Damon favourite to play Assange

Matt Damon is the bookies' favourite to play WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a new movie.

The Bourne star and Russell Crowe, who grew up in Australia, are said to be frontrunners for the role, with odds of 6-1, followed by Leonardo DiCaprio, Jude Law, Michael Sheen and Chris Cooper.

Since Steven Spielberg snapped up the screen rights to WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War On Secrecy, written by Guardian journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding, speculation has begun on who could play the titular part of the controversial Australian website creator.

"The role of Julian Assange will be one of the most sought after roles in Hollywood in the coming months and all of Tinseltown's big stars will be slugging it out in order to bag the WikiLeaks Lead," said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly.

Other actors on the bookies' list include George Clooney, Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig and Kevin Spacey - with Charlie Sheen the 66-1 outsider to bag the part.

© Press Association