AFM: Edward Snowden Movie Directed by Oliver Stone Gets Wild Bunch Backing

Edward Snowden H

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is set to play the NSA whistleblower

French group Wild Bunch announced Thursday that it has picked up international sales on Oliver Stone's untitled film about Edward Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the leading role as the NSA whistleblower.

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Wild Bunch's Vincent Maraval and Stone's long-time producing partner, Moritz Borman, negotiated the deal. Wild Bunch will begin shopping the project to buyers at the American Film Market this week. The controversial project is currently in preproduction in Germany, with principal photography set to start in January.

Stone's screenplay is based on Luke Harding's The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man and Time of the Octopus, the upcoming novel from Snowden's Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena.

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Harding's nonfiction book traces Snowden's move from Hawaii to Hong Kong, where he met with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald, handing over top-secret NSA documents. Snowden later flew to Moscow, where he sought asylum. Kucherena's fictional take on the story is based on the lawyer's time with Snowden as he waited in limbo at the Moscow airport while the Russian government decided on whether to grant his asylum.

Poitras' documentary on Snowden, Citizenfour, premiered at the New York Film Festival before being released on Oct. 24, and is getting Oscar buzz.

Twitter: @sroxborough