Sony Nabs Film Rights to Edward Snowden Book 'No Place to Hide'
Glenn Greenwald's book, which was published this week, would mark the first Snowden project to move forward at a major studio.
Sony Pictures Entertainment has optioned film rights to Glenn Greenwald's No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State.
The book by Greenwald, whose reporting on the revelations contained in Snowden’s top-secret NSA documents won the Pulitzer Prize for The Guardian newspaper this year, was published May 13. James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions will produce the politically themed drama that is expected to be in the vein of other Sony true-story films like The Social Network and Captain Phillips.
Greenwald's highly anticipated book examines the journalist's personal involvement in working with Snowden to break numerous stories about the U.S. government's intelligence-gathering operations. The book is both a personal narrative of the events as they unfolded and a historical reflection on the broader implications of the NSA's activities. Greenwald and his family have been harassed throughout the process of bringing Snowden's story to the public.
"Edward Snowden's explosive revelations have raised important questions about the role of government in protecting its citizens and the balance between national security and personal freedom," Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad said. "We are extremely proud that Michael, Barbara and Glenn chose Sony to bring this riveting story to the big screen, and believe that Glenn’s account of this incredible international event will make for a gripping and unforgettable film."
Greenwald added: "I'm very happy to be working with Amy Pascal, Doug Belgrad and the team at Sony Pictures Entertainment, who have a successful track record of making thoughtful and nuanced true-life stories that audiences want to see. Growing up, I was heavily influenced by political films, and am excited about the opportunity to be part of a political film that will resonate with today’s moviegoers."
Ever since Snowden, a former NSA contractor, fled the United States and became a fugitive and international celebrity, studios have been looking for ways to mine his story. He is responsible for what is considered to be the most significant government leak in U.S. history. The government considers him a traitor, while many, including the New York Times editorial board, call him a heroic whistleblower. No Place to Hide would mark the first Snowden narrative feature to move forward at a major studio.
Elizabeth Cantillon is overseeing the project for the studio.
Wilson and Broccoli are responsible for producing some of the most successful James Bond movies ever, including Skyfall, the first Bond title to earn more than $1 billion worldwide.
"Glenn Greenwald's No Place to Hide is a terrifying personal account of one of the most relevant political events of our time," Wilson and Broccoli said. "We are thrilled to be working with Glenn to bring this important story to the screen."
The book, which is being translated into more than 20 languages, was published in the U.S. by Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Henry Holt & Company.
The deal was brokered by Lucy Stille at Paradigm and Dan Conaway at Writers House.