Now that it's been announced Oscar-winner Oliver Stone is locked in to write and direct Sony's upcoming Edward Snowden biopic, many are no doubt clamoring to know who the filmmaker will cast as his leading man. Adapted from Luke Harden's "The
Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man," the film
will reportedly begin production late this year, meaning Stone is likely very close to casting an actor to embody the NSA whistleblower. Here are 9 actors we'd love to see in the role (in no particular order):
It's such an obvious choice that it might fly over most people's heads to consider Robert Pattinson the perfect actor for the role of Edward Snowden. The "Twilight" star has been pretty desperate to prove he's someone to take seriously--an effort that has not gone unnoticed. His performance in David Michôd's "The Rover" received raves at Cannes, he's worked with David Cronenberg twice now and is going to appear in Anton Corbijn's James Dean film "Life." Let's give the guy a chance? He looks like Snowden, is eager and has enough star power to bring in the dough. We certainly are team Edward on this one.
Another child star who is more than ready to work for Oliver Stone is Vincent Kartheiser. Peter Campbell ("Mad Men") has a knack for the delicate balance between shrewd and sympathetic, and depending on the angle the Snowden biopic goes for, Kartheiser might just be the perfect pick. His stigma of confidence without charisma and elegant speech capabilities, coupled with a haircut, could give the television and indie star a big-screen breakthrough.
The "Breaking Bad" star is currently seeking out new pastures and could definitely fit the bill with his dexterity in expressing angst and worry. Currently awash with projects and new offers, starring in John Hillcoat's upcoming new film "Triple Nine," for example, Paul might however struggle to manage it in his schedule. One can hold hope though. He would certainty bring a large following to the film.
Not yet a household name, Redmayne might emerge from the shadows and take on the role of the titular truth teller. Best known for his role as Marius Pontmercy in "Les Misérables" and Collin Clark in "My Week With Mayilyn," he is also starring in the upcoming biopic "Theory of Everything" as physicist Stephen Hawking. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, he would bring a much needed intellectual persona to the role.
While he will always most closely be associated with Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe has been quietly taking charge of his career in the indie arena, and the physical similarities (and the fact he can so famously pull off glasses) make Radcliffe a worthy consideration as Edward Snowden. He has already demonstrated talent and passion for performing real people in "Kill Your Darlings" and having been cast as track icon Sebastian Coe in the upcoming "Gold."
It seems like if one or two things fell differently, Ed Snowden and "House of Cards" character Lucas Goodwin might have switched places. Both are righteous searchers of justice and the truth, so it is only appropriate to consider Arcelus -- who plays the journalist in the Netflix hit -- to play yet another enemy of the federal government. His unique physique gives the sense that he is aged beyond his years, and his stature would paint Snowden as the powerful figure he has proven to be.
Ben Foster has been around for a while now, appearing in HBO's "Six Feet Under," the western "3:10 to Yuma" and the rather mediocre "X-Men: The Last Stand." Although he's always been a standout, the Boston-born actor has achieved a new level of fame and acclaim with his supporting roles in "Kill Your Darlings," "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" and "Lone Survivor"--all of which were released in the last year. Now, with Oliver Stone's Edward Snowden film underway, we'd like to put forth Foster's name as a contender to play the infamous figure. Yes, Foster is already playing Lance Armstrong in an upcoming biopic, but his physical resemblance to Snowden is palpable enough to make this happen anyway. He's too good of a screen presence to remain in the shadows.
Ben Whishaw is an acclaimed Shakespearean actor, was a standout in the last James Bond film and has snagged the role of Freddie Mercury in an upcoming biopic. Still, we wouldn't mind adding Edward Snowden to the list of characters the British actor is capable of playing. With Oliver Stone's project underway, it's important to consider that he's been great in practically everything (check him out in BBC's "Richard II") and is not too far of a reach in the looks department, either. So, why not?
Okay, this might be a stretch, but you have to admit the physical similarities between the "Neighbors" star and Snowden are pretty striking. And while Rogen has proven himself to be one of the funniest men working in comedy today, he also revealed some promising dramatic chops in films like "Take This Waltz" and "50/50." With Rogen now more popular than ever, it's time for him to prove his range to the masses by taking on a role as challenging as Snowden in a film sure to draw a lot of attention. He's got the goods.
[Eric Eidelstein, Brandom Latham, Oliver MacMahon and Nigel M. Smith contributed to this article.]