Oliver Stone to direct Edward Snowden biopic – movie set for Christmas 2015 release

23 Feb 2015

Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone is planning to release Snowden, a biopic about the rogue NSA contractor Edward Snowden, just in time for Christmas 2015.

The news comes as Laura Poitras’ CitizenFour documentary Snowden’s efforts to shed light US cyber surveillance  won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in Hollywood last night.

Edward Snowden is the IT contractor who jettisoned a plumb US$200,000 a year salary in a cushy location (Hawaii) to live life as a fugitive on the run from the US government in order to defend his principles.

Observing the callous way that spies would manipulate data to discredit or undermine others Snowden fled the US, first arriving in Hong Kong before making it to Russia where he is in hiding.

His devastating revelations about the PRISM project to spy on the servers of Facebook, Apple, Yahoo!, Google and other sites were just the tip of the iceberg.

He continues to release data about the activities of the NSA and cohorts like the UK’s GCHQ. The latest revelation concerned how spies had hacked into the servers of SIM manufacturers like Gemalto in order to have unlimited access to mobile voice and data worldwide.

In the Stone movie entitled Snowden, the title character will be played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the cast includes Timothy Olyphant, Rhys Ifans and Joely Richardson.

Open Road Films has confirmed that Snowden will open on 25 December and will compete at the box office against Will Smith’s NFL pic Concussion; David O. Russell and Jennifer Lawrence’s Joy; and Alejandro González Iñárritu and Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Revenant.

The script for the movie, written by Stone and Kieran Fitzgerald, is based on the books The Snowden Files: The Inside World of the World’s Most Wanted Man by journalist Luke Harding and Time of the Octupus by Snowden lawyer Anatoly Kycherena.

No doubt the movie is primed to stoke controversy in the US where opinion is divided between those horrified by the actions of the US government agencies and those who are ambivalent as to what has been happening.

Snowden protests image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years