NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has dominated the media since June of last year, when he leaked thousands of classified documents to various outlets in what has been described as one of the most significant leaks in U.S. history since Daniel Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers. Naturally, multiple studios are chomping at the bit to turn Snowden’s compelling story into an equally compelling (and hopefully lucrative) movie. Now, one is taking shape with JFK director Oliver Stone at the helm.
Moritz Borman, a frequent collaborator of Stone’s, is producing an adaptation of Luke Harding’s The Snowden Files, an account of the NSA leaks and Snowden’s subsequent experiences. Harding, a writer for British newspaper The Guardian, and other journalists from that same publication, which worked closely with Snowden to release a lot of the leaked information, will be serving as production and story consultants on the film. Stone will also be penning the script for the film.
In a statement, Stone said:
“This is one of the greatest stories of our time… A real challenge. I’m glad to have the Guardian working with us.”
For The Guardian’s part, editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger said:
“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 Moritz Borman on the film.”
Production is expected to start on this project before the end of the year, putting it ahead of a planned adaptation of Glenn Greenwald’s Snowden book No Place to Hide.
Hopefully, this Snowden film will be met with a stronger reception than a similar film about a different whistleblower – DreamWorks’ The Fifth Estate, about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. It only took in a paltry $8 million worldwide and received poor reviews, making it a pretty definitive loss for DreamWorks. With The Guardian on board this project, at least we can hope that the truth about Snowden’s leaks will remain intact, though the film’s mass appeal will remain in question until it opens.
Check out the official Amazon synopsis for The Snowden Files below:
It began with an unsigned email: “I am a senior member of the intelligence community”.
What followed was the most spectacular intelligence breach ever, brought about by one extraordinary man. The consequences have shaken the leaders of nations worldwide, from Obama to Cameron, to the presidents of Brazil, France, and Indonesia, and the chancellor of Germany.
Edward Snowden, a young computer genius working for America’s National Security Agency, blew the whistle on the way this powerful organisation uses new technology to spy on the entire planet. The spies call it “mastering the internet”. Others call it the death of individual privacy.
This is the inside story of Snowden’s deeds and the journalists who faced down the pressure from US and British governments to break a remarkable scoop.
Snowden’s story reads like a globe-trotting thriller, from the day he left his glamorous girlfriend on the island of Hawaii carrying a hard drive full of secrets, to the weeks of his secret-spilling in Hong Kong, and his battle for asylum. Now stuck in Moscow, a uniquely hunted man, he faces US espionage charges and an uncertain future in exile.
What drove Snowden to sacrifice himself? Award-winning Guardian journalist Luke Harding answers the question which should trouble every citizen of the internet age.
Source: The Playlist