Sony Taps James Bond Producers To Adapt Edward Snowden Memoir
Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli have been two of the driving forces behind the James Bond franchise since 1979 and 1987, respectively. Both have several decades of experience with fostering the adventures of everyone's favorite 00 agent through changes in political and social climates, and so far they've done a pretty good job of it. So it's only natural that both producers are looking to expand into the realm of true-life espionage, and Sony has acquired the project that will serve as their entry into the non-fictional narrative.
Deadline reports that the rights to the recently published memoir No Place To Hide have been secured by Sony Pictures, with Wilson and Broccoli set to produce. The memoir, written by reporter Glenn Greenwald, tells the story of Mr. Greenwald's partnership with NSA contractor turned activist Edward Snowden. Together, they would report the extent of the intelligence gathering the NSA was engaged in, both with its own citizens and foreign powers.
This certainly isn't the first time Hollywood has tried to bring this sort of story to light in an adapted narrative. In fact, Dreamworks Pictures and Touchstone Pictures are still smarting after the abysmal failure that was The Fifth Estate, a film that tried to tell the story of Julian Assange and his organization Wikileaks, but was lambasted as being everything from boring to extremely one sided.
Going forward, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli are going to have to take into account that Glenn Greenwald is just as polarizing a figure as Julian Assange, and there are a lot of factors that will need to be taken into careful consideration when putting this story together. Buried among these is the fact that MGM (Sony's partner in the Bond franchise) recently attempted (and failed) to have Universal's Section 6 shut down, due to "copyright infringement."
I only mention this because the influx of lawsuits claiming theft or copycatting certain stories, the Section 6 suit included, stand to only make things more complicated with adapting this film so it is different enough that those behind The Fifth Estate don't have similar grounds for action. As for the matter of how the producers will handle Edward Snowden's complicated story, that cannot be theorized until a writer (or writing team) is hired for the project. Ideally though, Wilson and Broccoli could continue their relationship with recent Bond franchise scribe John Logan, as he has not only co-written one of the best James Bond films in years (Skyfall) but he's also had experience with bringing equally compelling true life stories to the screen (The Aviator).
For now, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli will be hard at work aligning the pieces to put Bond 24 into production, in order to meet its November 6, 2015 release date. This should give them plenty of time to start mulling just how to bring this project to the screen in such a manner that won't repeat the failures of other similar projects.
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