Joseph Gordon-Levitt will play whistleblower Edward Snowden in a new biopic directed by Oliver Stone. Stone is adapting two books about the former NSA employee who leaked thousands of classified files to the media: The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena. Snowden initially leaked the documents to Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, and several Guardian staffmembers are involved in the movie’s production. “This is one of the greatest stories of our time,” said Stone. “A real challenge. I’m glad to have the Guardian working with us.”
Snowden currently lives in an undisclosed location in Russia, after spending several weeks at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, fearing extradition back to the United States. He has now been granted asylum in Russia, and is still wanted in the US. The Guardian reports that “The still untitled film goes into production in Munich in January,” according to “independent studio Open Road Films and production and financing company Endgame Entertainment. Producer Moritz Borman said in a statement that he and Stone chose Open Road and Endgame because ‘this film needs an independent in the true sense, where political pressures will not come into play.'” Stone is no stranger to controversy: his movie JFK sparked new interest in the Kennedy assassination and was criticized for its fusion (confusion?) of fact and fiction.