Oliver Stone is tackling a hot-button topic with his latest project.
The Oscar-winning filmmaker is planning a film about exiled NSA leaker Edward Snowden, according to Deadline, after purchasing the rights to the book "The Snowden Files: The Inside Story Of The World’s Most Wanted Man" by Guardian journalist Luke Harding. Harding and other Guardian reporters who worked on the Snowden story will serve as consultants on the film.
“This is one of the greatest stories of our time,” said Stone in a statement. “A real challenge. I’m glad to have the Guardian working with us.”
Echoed Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger: “The story of Edward Snowden is truly extraordinary, and the unprecedented revelations he brought to light have forever transformed our understanding of, and relationship with, government and technology. We’re delighted to be working with Oliver Stone and [Stone's producing partner] Moritz Borman on the film.”
There's no word on whether Snowden's life rights are part of the deal, though the film is the second such project announced in the last couple of weeks - Sony Pictures is also mounting a Snowden film based on journalist Glenn Greenwald's 2014 tome "No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State."
A former CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) operative, Snowden set off a firestorm last year after he revealed himself as the leaker behind thousands of classified documents exposing previously unknown surveillance practices conducted by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), including unprecedented access to the private call records and email accounts of American citizens. He currently resides in Russia after being granted a temporary stay of asylum there and is currently wanted by the U.S. government on charges of theft, violations of the U.S.' 1917 Espionage Act and the leak of classified intelligence to unauthorized persons.
A once-towering figure in American film, Stone's output has been less warmly received over the last couple of decades, weighed down by such critical and commercial disappointments as "Savages," "W" and the legendary 2004 flop "Alexander" starring Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie.
Do you think Oliver Stone is the right filmmaker to tackle the Edward Snowden story? Sound off in the comments.