Oliver Stone's Edward Snowden Movie Set for Christmas Release

Oliver Stone - H 2014
Carlo Allegri/Invision/AP

Oliver Stone - H 2014

Rhys Ifans and Joely Richardson have joined the cast of the film, in which Joseph Gordon-Levitt is playing the NSA leaker.

Oliver Stone's Joseph Gordon-Levitt-starring film about NSA leaker Edward Snowden is set to hit U.S. theaters on Christmas Day, distributor Open Road announced.

The film will open opposite Sony's Will Smith starrer Concussion, David O. Russell's Joy (starring Jennifer Lawrence) from Fox, Warner Bros.' Point Break remake and Paramount's Monster Trucks. Fox's The Revenant also opens in limited release that day, with its Alvin and the Chipmunks 4 set to hit theaters on Wednesday, Dec. 23.

All of those titles will try to fend off J.J. Abrams' highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opens on Dec. 18, at the box office.

In addition to Gordon-Levitt, Stone's film, titled Snowden, stars Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson and Timothy Olyphant. Rhys Ifans and Joely Richardson have also joined the cast, Open Road announced Friday.

Ifans is repped by UTA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Richardson is repped by The Artists Partnership, ICM Partners and MGMT Entertainment.

Principal photography on Snowden has begun in Munich and will continue until mid-May, Open Road added.

Stone is directing
and wrote the screenplay with Kieran Fitzgerald (The Homesman), basing it on two books, The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man, by journalist Luke Harding, and the novel Time of the Octopus, by Snowden's Russian lawyer Antoly Kucherena.

The film is being produced by Stone's longtime partner Moritz Borman as well as Eric Kopeloff and Philip Schulz-Deyle.

Harding's book deals with reports based on Snowden's disclosures in The Guardian while Kucherena's fictional story focuses on an American whistleblower, who after being threatened by his government and waiting for a decision on his request for Russian asylum, spends weeks at the Moscow airport.

Stone's film is just Hollywood's latest take on the NSA leaker. Laura Poitras' Citizenfour documentary is a favorite for the best documentary feature award at this Sunday's Oscars, and Sony has optioned the film rights to Glenn Greenwald's No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State.

Greenwald and Poitras were among the initial group of people who saw and reported on Snowden's top-secret NSA documents.