The controversial former NSA contractor is already the subject of a critically acclaimed documentary, “Citizenfour,” and his story will also get the Oliver Stone treatment in a big-screen production from Open Road Films and Endgame Entertainment.
“I’ve long been an admirer of Oliver Stone and this continues our determination to work with great directors. I’m also delighted to renew our collaboration with Open Road and look forward to participating in this important film,” James D. Stern, CEO of Endgame Entertainment, said in joint a press release from the two studios.
According to the press release, heartthrob actor Joseph Gordon Levitt has been cast in the lead role. The film’s script is based on two books: “The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man” by Luke Harding and “Time of the Octopus” by Anatoly Kucherena.
Levitt, 33, is best known for his roles in romantic comedies like “500 Days of Summer” and action blockbusters such as “Inception” and “The Dark Knight Rises”.
Stone, who is infamous for his left-wing bent has made no secret about his animus towards the military-industrial complex in films like “JFK” and “Nixon,” and he has no love for the current occupant of the White House, either.
“The country Obama inherited was indeed in shambles, but Obama took a bad situation and, in certain ways, made it worse,” the Oscar-winning director wrote in his 2012 book “The Untold History of the United States” (co-authored by historian Peter Kuznic).
“Obama asserted presidential power in ways that must have made Dick Cheney jealous,” according to the book.
Snowden has been a thorn in the side of the Obama administration ever since he received asylum in Russia last year after giving journalists documents that revealed the NSA’s extensive surveillance activities. His whereabouts in the country are unknown. Snowden has been charged by U.S. authorities with espionage and theft of government property.
The still-untitled film will shoot in Munich starting in January 2015 and it is unclear at this time whether Snowden will consult on the project.
Additional reporting by Rachel Kleinman