Has filmmaker Oliver Stone ever met a political controversy he didn’t want to make into a movie? Though to be fair, the director’s been somewhat inactive in the world of mainstream movies in recent years, focusing on documentaries about the late, former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Stone’s last two dramatic features were 2010’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” and 2012’s “Savages,” two forgettable movies that both critics and audiences didn’t really care for. And Stone’s interests seemed to take him elsewhere (“Mi Amigo Hugo” and the 10-part “The Untold History of the United States,” the latter of which premiered on Showtime), but the Edward Snowden story seemed to reinvigorate his passion for topical political drama and the project came together really fast.
Shot earlier this year in May and due, with a quick turn around, by year’s end, “Snowden” focuses on what else, the Edward Snowden news of 2013, one of the biggest whistleblower stories in history. In case you were living under a rock at the time, former CIA employee and government contractor Snowden dropped a bombshell in the fall of 2013, revealing classified, national security secrets to the press about the NSA and in doing so pulling back the curtain on our notions of privacy and how much the government spies on our lives under the guise of national interest (if you haven’t seen the documentary “CitizenFour” you should absolutely change that immediately)..
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Snowden, Stone’s international thriller co-stars Shailene Woodley as his girlfriend, Nicolas Cage as a former U.S. Intelligence Official, Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”), Zachary Quinto (“Star Trek: Into Darkness”), Tom Wilkinson (“Michael Clayton”), Rhys Ifans (“The Amazing Spider-Man”) Joely Richardson (“The Patriot”), Scott Eastwood, and Timothy Olyphant (“Justified”).
Open Road Films will release “Snowden” on December 25th meaning the movie will go up against Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight,” David O. Russell‘s “Joy” Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s “The Revenant” and the Ridley Scott-produced “Concussion” movie starring Will Smith. Care to make a wager who jumps ship in that game of chicken? Meanwhile, the first trailer for “Snowden” has arrived. Watch below and let us know what you think.