Joseph Gordon-Levitt posted photos on his Facebook page on Tuesday in costume as Edward Snowden. He's the star in the upcoming Oliver Stone biopic Snowden, and filming got underway on March 3. We see JGL in an army uniform, wearing those signature Snowden glasses. Many might not know that, before he worked for the CIA, Snowden enlisted in the US Army in 2004. And, though people might expect Snowden to mimic the themes of the documentary CitizenFour about the whistleblower, that's probably not the case. Here's a rough guide to everything we know about the movie so far.
The film is also an adaptation of Luke Harding's book The Snowden Files: The Inside Story Of The World’s Most Wanted Man and the book from Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, Time Of The Octopus. Harding was a journalist at The Guardian who worked with Glenn Greenwald — the reporter to whom Snowden first sought to leak documents proving that the NSA was heavily surveilling American citizens. Reporters from The Guardian, including author Luke Harding, will also be working with Stone and his longtime producer and collaborator, Moritz Borman, as story consultants. "This is one of the greatest stories of our time... A real challenge. I'm glad to have the Guardian working with us," the 67 year old Stone said.
It doesn't seem like there were many other names in the ring to play the former National Security Agency employee Snowden. Other stars in the film include Shailene Woodley and Nicolas Cage (his first big political picture since National Treasure: Book Of Secrets). According to IMDB, Woodley will fill the role of Lindsay Mills, Snowden's girlfriend. Mills' whereabouts were largely unknown until the premiere of CitizenFour, Laura Poitras' Academy Award-winning documentary about Snowden, which revealed that Mills was living with him in Moscow. She later appeared at the Oscars ceremony and stood on stage when director Laura Poitras accepted the award for Best Documentary.
Who Nicolas Cage will play in the film is unclear as of yet, but it is known that he'll be a "former U.S. Intelligence official," according to TheWrap.There's a slew of other big names rounding out the cast. Zachary Quinto is, per IMDB, signed on to play journalist Glenn Greenwald. Melissa Leo plays Laura Poitras, the documentarian that created CitizenFour. It will be interesting to see how Stone and his team integrate the making of the documentary into the biopic. Other actors in the cast include Rhys Ivans, Timothy Olyphant and Scott Eastwood.
Speaking of CitizenFour, Snowden called Poitras' documentary a "brave and brilliant film" that he hoped would "encourage more people to see the film and be inspired by its message that ordinary citizens, working together, can change the world." He hasn't yet spoken about what he thinks of Stone's biopic, though; although Stone himself admires Snowden: "To me Snowden is a hero because he revealed secrets that we should all know, that the United States has repeatedly violated the fourth amendment... He should be welcomed and offered asylum." Chances are that Stone's picture will paint the whistleblower in an especially sympathetic light, but we'll have to wait until December 25 to find out.
As a bonus: here's a selfie of JGL and director Oliver Stone.
Images: Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Facebook