Snowden “Turned Down By Every Major Studio” Due To Subject Matter, According To Oliver Stone


Rubbing shoulders with comic book heavyweights in the vein of Justice League, Wonder Woman and Doctor Strange, Oliver Stone’s Snowden biopic caught the eye of attendees on the opening night of San Diego Comic-Con with a thrilling new trailer.

Aligned for an awards-friendly release in September, the Joseph Gordon-Levitt vehicle proved to be something of a hot potato during the formative months of production, with Stone revealing at a SDCC panel that his latest feature was “turned down by every major studio” before finding a home at Open Road Films.

Relayed by The Guardian, the filmmaker noted that casting light on the NSA’s questionable history proved a contentious issue when pitching Snowden to Hollywood execs.

“Frankly, it was turned down by every major studio,” director Oliver Stone said. “It was definitely self-censorship. I don’t believe there was an enemy such as the NSA lurking in the background but self-censorship is a huge issue in this industry. Every film studio, the boards, rather than the executives, said no.”

Later in the presentation, Stone then pointed to the groundbreaking impact of Pokemon Go, which isn’t without problems of its own.

“[Google] have invested a huge amount of money into, what surveillance is, data mining. They’re data mining every single person in this room for information as to what you’re buying, what you like, above all, your behavior. So ‘Pokémon Go’ kicks into that. It’s everywhere. It’s what some people call surveillance capitalism — it’s the newest stage. It’s not for profit at the beginning, but it becomes for profit in the end. Because it creates its own awareness, and it gets into everywhere in the world, until it manipulates our behavior, and we start to act like that, which has happened already quite a bit on the internet.”

Joseph Gordon-Levitt takes point as the notorious whistleblower here, leading a cast comprised of The Divergent Series stalwart Shailene Woodley as Snowden’s girlfriend, Nicolas Cage, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Rhys Ifans, Joely Richardson, Scott Eastwood and Timothy Olyphant.

Twice delayed, Oliver Stone’s button-pressing Snowden will finally make its bow in theaters on September 16.