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Oh, Oliver Stone - you're so Oliver Stone-y. The liberal firebrand filmmaker has been more outspoken than productive lately, dabbling in documentaries and public appearances. But now the Oscar winning director is ready to return to filmmaking, with the ripest subject possible: Edward Snowden.
The Guardian reports that Oliver Stone and producing partner Moritz Borman have acquired the rights to the book The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of The World's Most Wanted Man. Penned by Guardian writer Luke Harding, the book covers the media's treatment of the information leaked by infamous whistleblower Edward Snowden, who revealed many sensitive and illegal documents being quietly buried from within NSA walls.
Stone, who is writing the script with an eye to direct, is no stranger to controversy. To list the many political donnybrooks he's engaged in over the years would be ridiculous. Literally every movie he makes seems to stir up passions in both sides of the aisle, even if the movies aren't all that great. Stone's last fiction film was 2012's risible Savages, which depicted America's futile war on drugs in a story of institutionalized corruption and corporate self-interests. But the commentary was limp, and the action uninspired, suggesting Stone as an old gunslinger running very low on bullets, even given a great cast and material (an original novel by Don Winslow).
But it's also impossible to deny that Snowden's case isn't a landmark moment in American history. Here was a guy who pulled the veil off the NSA and revealed scads of illegal surveillance programs previously undisclosed to the public to be used on American soil. Of course, the reaction from the media, the fifth estate meant to uncover these revelations themselves, was savage and unpleasant, with the national discourse shifting to a complete slander of Snowden's actions. The Guardian eventually won the Pulitzer Prize for covering the Snowden incident. Snowden himself had to defect to another country, to go on the run from those calling for his head. Meanwhile, the government keeps using silly computer games to watch us illegally.
The Snowden Files, as it may or may not end up being called, is aiming to start shooting at the end of the year. It has no relation, however, to the other Snowden film in development over at Sony that has Bond producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli on-board (that movie will be based on the memoir No Place To Hide). Stone, who recently had a Martin Luther King Jr. biopic fall apart, is no stranger to racing to get a movie into theaters: he famously shot W. in a month to get it in theaters before the end of President Bush's presidency. The Snowden Files is a rich story waiting to be told. If not Stone, then who?