Filmmaker Oliver Stone has never shied away from splashing history on the big screen, especially American-centric tales of big egos and, often, big mistakes. Stone will next tackle the story of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, a sort of history-in-the-making that surely appeals to Stone’s outsized sensibilities. Stone will next adapt “The Snowden Files,” Guardian journalist Luke Harding’s account of Snowden and the complicated scandal he’s still in the midst of.
The Guardian reports that the film will reportedly be a “thriller” that “will focus on the experiences of the American whistleblower Edward Snowden, a contractor at the National Security Agency who leaked thousands of classified documents to the former Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald back in June 2013.”
Both Harding and “other” Guardian journalists (it does not specify who, but we’re betting it won’t include Greenwald himself, though more on that later) will consult on the film.
Harding’s book was published earlier this year, and has racked up plenty of accolades since its release.
The book’s official description tells us:
It began with a tantalizing, anonymous e-mail: “I am a senior member of the intelligence community.”
What followed was the most spectacular intelligence breach ever, brought about by one extraordinary man. Edward Snowden was a 29-year-old computer genius working for the National Security Agency when he shocked the world by exposing the near-universal mass surveillance programs of the United States government. His whistleblowing has shaken the leaders of nations worldwide, and generated a passionate public debate on the dangers of global monitoring and the threat to individual privacy.
In a tour de force of investigative journalism that reads like a spy novel, award-winning Guardian reporter Luke Harding tells Snowden’s astonishing story—from the day he left his glamorous girlfriend in Honolulu carrying a hard drive full of secrets, to the weeks of his secret-spilling in Hong Kong, to his battle for asylum and his exile in Moscow. For the first time, Harding brings together the many sources and strands of the story—touching on everything from concerns about domestic spying to the complicity of the tech sector—while also placing us in the room with Edward Snowden himself. The result is a gripping insider narrative—and a necessary and timely account of what is at stake for all of us in the new digital age.
Although Snowden — and his actions — remain controversial and sides are split over his work and aims, Stone appears to be a fan. The Guardian shares a statement from Stone from back in July, in which he said, “To me, Snowden is a hero…He revealed secrets that we should all know, that the United States has repeatedly violated the fourth amendment.”
Stone’s project will face off against yet another Snowden project that’s currently in the works (and we wouldn’t be entirely shocked if another Snowden pic or two makes its way into the pipeline, considering how current and compelling this story is), as Greenwald recently penned a book about the whistleblower, “No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State,” which Sony is turning into their own feature.
It’s unclear which Snowden feature will make it into theaters first, but Stone is already looking to start shooting his film by the end of the year.
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