EXCLUSIVE: Film on National Security Agency whistleblower to shoot in Munich in 2015.
Wild Bunch has acquired international rights to Oliver Stone’s untitled film about Edward Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt [pictured] in the leading role.
The deal was negotiated by Wild Bunch sales chief Vincent Maraval and Stone’s long-time producing partner Moritz Borman, who previously collaborated with the director on films such as World Trade Center, W. and Savages.
Paris-based Wild Bunch is launching sales on the film at the AFM. Pathé has already snapped rights for France and Benelux.
The film is currently in pre-production in Munich and principal photography will begin in January 2015.
Snowden, a former computer contractor at a National Security Agency facility in Hawaii, hit global headlines in June 2013 when he leaked files on the agency’s covert surveillance programmes, revealing how it regularly mined the records of telecommunication companies around the world for intelligence.
Stone’s screenplay is based on two sources: Luke Harding’sThe Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man, and Time of the Octopus, a novel by Snowden’s Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena.
Harding’s non-fiction work recounts Snowden’s flit from Hawaii to Hong Kong, where he leaked the information to journalists Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald in a hotel room, before hot-footing it to Moscow, where he asked for asylum.
The latter work is a novel, inspired by the time the lawyer Kucherena spent with Snowden while he waited in limbo in Moscow airport’s transit area for three weeks, awaiting a decision on his asylum request.