Open Road Films and Endgame Entertainment are partnering for the US release of writer/director Oliver Stone’s yet-to-be-titled Edward Snowden project, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the NSA whistleblower, also the subject of Laura Poitras’ Oscar doc frontrunner “CITIZENFOUR.”
Produced by Stone collaborators Moritz Borman (“World Trade Center”) and Eric Kopeloff (“Savages”), the film (billed “The Snowden Files” on IMDb) is slated to kick off production in Munich in January 2015. Pathe will distribute in France and Benelux while Wild Bunch is continuing to handle international sales elsewhere.
The script culls from books “The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Many” by Luke Harding and “Time of the Octopus” by Snowden’s Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena. “Snowden Files” follows the cyber celebrity from Hawaii to Hong Kong, where he brought earth-shattering surveillance intel to Poitras and Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald before seeking asylum in Moscow, which is the focus of Kucherena’s thinly fictionalized novel.
On the heels of Poitras’ “CITIZENFOUR” Oscar buzz, repped by the journalist-turned-filmmaker at last weekend’s Governors Awards amid a starry Hollywood crowd, Stone’s project was snapped up quickly at the American Film Market in Santa Monica. Sony’s also at work on a Snowden picture based on Guardian journalist Greenwald’s true account “No Place to Hide.”
Here’s why “CITIZENFOUR” remains the documentary to beat at the Oscars.