Oliver Stone has added three actors to the cast of his upcoming Edward Snowden film, simply titled Snowden, on the heels of Open Road Films dating the anticipated picture for a Christmas Day release.
Nicolas Cage, Rhys Ifans and Joely Richardson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) have all joined a cast led by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley. Melissa Leo, Tom Wilkinson, Zachary Quinto, Scott Eastwood, Timothy Olyphant, Ben Schnetzer and Jaymes Butler also star. Cage will play a former U.S. intelligence official, while no details have been revealed about Ifans and Richardson’s roles.
Gordon-Levitt, of course, is taking on the role of Edward Snowden, the American-born whistleblower who exposed numerous global surveillance programs run by the NSA and the Five Eyes before fleeing the United States in hopes of being granted sanctuary in Russia. Woodley plays his girlfriend Lindsey Mills; Leo portrays journalist and filmmaker Laura Poitras; Wilkinson plays journalist Ewen MacAskill; Quinto portrays journalist Glenn Greenwald; Eastwood plays an NSA agent; and Olyphant takes on the part of a CIA agent who befriends Snowden before his escape to Russia. Schnetzer and Butler’s roles are unknown.
Snowden made headlines as recently as last night, when Poitras’ documentary about his leaks, Citizenfour, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. And though it’s still unclear whether Open Road has committed to a wide Christmas release or simply a limited, awards-qualifying one, there’s no doubt the whistleblower will dominate headlines around that time as well. Stone is a particularly incendiary, outspoken filmmaker, so it should be interesting to see his take on something as controversial and topical as the Snowden leaks.
The director’s script (also penned by The Homesman scribe Kieran Fitzgerald) pulls both from Guardian journalist Luke Harding’s The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man and a novel titled Time of the Octopus, written by Snowden’s Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena.
Principal photography on Snowden is underway in Munich.