Since 2013, the name Edward Snowden has been synonymous with controversy. It was during this time that the then 29-year old National Security Agency employee began to doubt the moral principles of his job. Tasked with building a national and global network of surveillance operations, Snowden became one of the most wanted men in the world after he left the United States with an undisclosed number of classified NSA documents, leaking several to the media.
The leaked files set off a frenzy of debate regarding government control over the Internet and modern surveillance of its citizens. Promptly charged with two counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property, Snowden fled to Russia where he remains to this day with asylum seeker’s status. Knowing a story with great cinematic potential when he sees one, Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone was quick get an adaptation underway, casting Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the lead role for the upcoming Snowden biopic.
With Comic-Con 2016 up and running, the second trailer for Snowden has arrived and can be viewed above. Aside from Gordon-Levitt’s turn as Edward Snowden, the film also stars Shailene Woodley (Allegiant, The Fault In Our Stars), Zachary Quinto (Star Trek Beyond), Melissa Leo (The Big Short), Tom Wilkinson (Selma) and Nicolas Cage (Dog Eat Dog). Snowden will mark Stone’s first film since 2012’s Savages.
This isn’t the first film to be made about Snowden’s exploits – the 2014 Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour detailed meetings between Snowden and several journalists who were key in getting the leaked documents into the mainstream media. In addition to Snowden, the topic of so-called whistleblowers was also covered in 2013’s The Fifth Estate, which detailed Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s efforts to leak confidential information to the media. While Assange did not endorse The Fifth Estate, Snowden met with Stone on numerous occasions, prompting the director to describe him as “a historical figure of great consequence.” Uncomfortable of filming in the U.S., Oliver Stone moved production to Germany – a nation where 50 percent of the population considers Snowden a hero.
These sort of setbacks always seem to be surmountable when it comes to anything linked with Snowden, however, and judging from the trailer, Stone looks to have implemented all the key elements of Snowden’s amazing story into the film. Even today, some three years after Snowden came to international notoriety, the former U.S. military, CIA and NSA member continues to work – having recently unveiled plans for an iPhone case that prevents its radios from transmitting. The Snowden film has also unveiled a campaign called Protect Yourself to encourage individual protection of privacy and freedom.
In today’s political climate, the topic of Edward Snowden is indeed a hot one. Both divisive and uniting, the arrival of Stone’s Snowden biopic this September will certainly provide ample discussion on a topic that only seems to become more and more relevant as technology plays an increasingly greater role in our everyday lives.
Snowden hits US theaters on September 16th, 2016.
Source: Movieclips Trailers