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Oliver Stone set to direct an Edward Snowden biopic

Oliver Stone set to direct an Edward Snowden biopic

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Sony's film about whistleblower Edward Snowden may have competition. According to The Guardian, Oliver Stone is set to direct an adaptation of The Snowden Files, an account of the former NSA contractor's theft and release of documents revealing far-reaching government surveillance programs. The film is supposed to start shooting by the end of 2014 and will be produced by Moritz Borman, who has previously worked with Stone. Snowden Files author and Guardian correspondent Luke Harding, as well as other Guardian journalists, will be brought on as consultants. Earlier this spring, Glenn Greenwald's book No Place to Hide was optioned by Sony Pictures, with James Bond franchise producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli on board.

Stone's career has seen him direct films about, among other things, the assassination of John F. Kennedy (JFK), the presidency and resignation of Richard Nixon (Nixon), the Vietnam War (Born on the Fourth of July and Platoon), and the September 11th attacks (World Trade Center). He's previously praised Edward Snowden, calling him a "hero" and President Barack Obama's hunt for him a "disgrace." In a statement today, he called Snowden's tale "one of the greatest stories of our time." Previously, he has expressed admiration for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and criticized the treatment of whistleblower Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning.

Luke Harding's relationship is more complicated. In 2011, Harding co-authored WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy, one of two books that provided source material for mediocre WikiLeaks movie The Fifth Estate. Even before the film's production, Assange had threatened to sue Harding for libel after he printed what Assange called a "completely fabricated" claim. Both Assange and Snowden worked with The Guardian, among other outlets, to publish stories based on their leaked documents.