Comic-Con: Oliver Stone Says Edward Snowden "Still a Mystery"

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Oliver Stone

The director called Pokemon Go "a new level of invasion" and called it "surveillance capitalism."

Director Oliver Stone on Thursday made his first appearance at San Diego Comic-Con to promote his upcoming film Snowden, which hits theaters in September. 

Snowden is the true story of real-life whistleblower Edward Snowden, a former government employee who leaked classified information, exposing the NSA's monitoring of American civilians.

When asked about why he wanted to tackle the story, Stone said: "Snowden is a larger-than-life story of what is happening right now, under our noses and it affects the majority of you, in this audience."

The director said that the project was turned down by every major studio. He eventually found funding from France and Germany and domestic distribution from Open Road, which was responsible for last year's Oscar winner Spotlight

Stone met Snowden for the first time in January 2014 in Moscow, where the activist is currently residing under asylum.

"He is a man who is covert and keeps to himself and lives on the computer," the filmmaker said Snowden. "I met him under conditions of secrecy. He was going through a painful period, and I found him very resolute and strong. He has never wilted in the face of opposition. He has only gotten stronger."

Stone added: "He is still a mystery. We went as far as we could, and he cooperated with us. [But] there are things that we don't know, and things that he will hopefully reveal one day."

The Snowden panel took place in Comic-Con's Hall H, where the director was joined by the film's stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, who play Edward Snowden and his girlfriend Lindsay Mills.

Gordon-Levitt also made the trip to Moscow to meet with Snowden. The actor's first impression? “He is very polite,” he said.

What surprised Gordon-Levitt most about Snowden was the whistleblower's optimism. "He is extremely optimistic about technology and the future and how technology can improve the state of democracy and the state of the human race,”  he said.

During the Q&A portion of the panel, an audience member asked Stone about his thoughts on Pokemon Go. Stone called the augmented reality game "a new level of invasion," adding that "corporations are data mining everyone in this room."

The director went on to say that the technology used in the mobile game is a form of "totalitarianism." 

The below new trailer for the film also debuted at Comic-Con.

Bookmark THR.com/ComicCon to keep up with all the highlights. 

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