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Oliver Stone and his producing partner, Moritz Borman, have inked a deal for movie rights to Time of the Octopus, a novel written by Anatoly Kucherena, whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s Russian lawyer.
Stone will use Kucherena’s insights alongside journalist Luke Harding’s book The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man as the sources for the screenplay of his untitled Snowden film, with production planned to start before the end of the year.
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Stone has begun to write the screenplay, and Borman is fast-tracking it as a European co-production to start filming before the end of the year.
Kucherena’s novel tells the fictional story of an American whistle-blower, Joshua Cold, who, threatened by his government and waiting for a decision on his request for asylum from the Russian authorities, spends three weeks in limbo in the transit area of the Moscow airport.
He occupies his time there talking to a Russian lawyer about his life and what motivated him to expose a massive American surveillance program.
Said Kucherena: “The more I engaged in the Edward Snowden case, the more I was impressed by his story. To understand Edward and his actions, I had to ‘tune to his wavelength’ and try to balance between the rational and intuitive perception of his world. Having experienced these incredible sensations, I realized that I had to write about them, but only in the form of a novel that would not claim any sophisticated philosophical conclusions.”
Stone said in a statement: “Anatoly has written a ‘grand inquisitor’-style Russian novel weighing the soul of his fictional whistle-blower, Joshua Cold, against the gravity of a ‘1984’ tyranny that has achieved global proportions. His meditations on the meaning of totalitarian power in the 21st century make for a chilling, prescient horror story.”
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