FX’s Justified is just weeks away from the finale of its sixth and final season, but star Timothy Olyphant doesn’t need to worry about being out of work once it’s curtains for the acclaimed drama. Deadline reveals that the actor is negotiating a deal to join Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley in Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden pic.
Olyphant will portray a CIA agent who befriended Snowden before the American contractor, who leaked thousands of classified documents that he acquired while working for the NSA, fled to Russia seeking asylum.
The actor was last seen on screen in ill-received dramedy This is Where I Leave You, but he’s known to TV aficionados not only for Justified but also for his stints on Deadwood and The Office. This latest project is sure to send his stock soaring even higher.
Stone pulled from multiple sources to assemble the screenplay, including Time of the Octopus by Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, about an American whistleblower communicating with his lawyer as he awaits the Russian government’s decision about whether to protect him. Stone and producing partner Moritz Borman also bought the screen rights to The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man by Guardian reporter Luke Harding. Kieran Fitzgerald is also credited with the script.
The JFK and Wall Street director’s Snowden pic is coming together as Lauren Poitras’ documentary about the whistleblower, Citizenfour, contends for an Oscar this weekend. Though Snowden’s leaks took place mostly in June of 2013, it’s safe to say that he’ll be making headlines into the foreseeable future, especially with Stone’s film sure to ruffle a few feathers.
In addition to Gordon-Levitt, who’ll play Snowden, and Woodley, taking on the role of his girlfriend Lindsey Mills, Stone’s untitled Snowden film will star Melissa Leo as Poitras, Tom Wilkinson as Ewen MacAskill, Zachary Quinto as Glenn Greenwald and Scott Eastwood as an NSA agent. Ben Schnetzer and Jaymes Butler have currently unknown roles.
Though Stone is a notorious firebrand who has drawn fire for his takes on historical events, the Edward Snowden story is one of those rare moments in time so sensational and dramatic that the director shouldn’t need to create anything out of thin air.
Production is set to get under way soon, with Stone targeting a 2016 release date.