Oliver Stone’s movie about Edward Snowden

The New York Times reports: Oliver Stone, one of Hollywood’s most provocative directors, will make a movie about one of the world’s most divisive figures: Edward Snowden.

Mr. Stone, who has been vocal in his support for Mr. Snowden, calling the former National Security Agency contractor a “hero,” for instance, on Monday confirmed plans to adapt “The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man” for the screen. That book was written by Luke Harding, a journalist for The Guardian newspaper; Mr. Harding will serve as a production consultant.

“This is one of the greatest stories of our time,” Mr. Stone said in a statement. “A real challenge. I’m glad to have The Guardian working with us.” No studio partner or financing plan was announced.

Mr. Stone, who has been circling Mr. Snowden since early spring, when he visited him in Moscow, will have to race a rival project: Last month, Sony Pictures Entertainment bought the film rights to Glenn Greenwald’s “No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the N.S.A. and the U.S. Surveillance State.” Sony’s film is being produced by the team behind the James Bond franchise.

The dueling adaptations come after lukewarm interest from Hollywood. Studios in particular got spooked by “The Fifth Estate,” a DreamWorks Studios movie about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks that bombed at the box office in October, costing $28 million to make and taking in just $8.6 million worldwide.

Given Stone’s longstanding interest in Snowden, I would assume that he made an offer to buy the film rights to Greenwald’s book. If that’s the case, did Greenwald feel like the James Bond franchise producers would make a better movie, or did it simply come down to the question of who was willing to pay the most? Studios obviously have deeper pockets than directors.

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1 thought on “Oliver Stone’s movie about Edward Snowden

  1. pabelmont

    Let’s all thank Snowden and look forward to Oliver Stone’s movie. We need another spotlight on how American business and american government work.

    The decision to throw out America’s widely-assumed privacy from state intrusion (4th amendment) was not made by citizens or voters, although it was made by government.

    But today’s government is responsive to the oligarchy on most important (money) matters, not to voters. So the NSA’s shenanigans were set up (essentially) by a government of which we, the citizens and voters, are at best ignored and at worst captives. America has become an Oligarchy — Democracy In Name Only, ODINO.

    So our government, ODINO, without asking us, the people, has decided not only to keep an outlandish number and types of sectrets (which it has ruled cannot even be disclosed, not even secretly, in courts in trials which touch on such secrets — this becaues the courts, throwing away many citizen protections of the constitution, also caved-in to the national-security secrecy myths) but also to make sure that we, the people, no longer have much possibility of private (secret) communication.

    The government has gone too far. It’s out of hand. And Snowden is a hero for disclosing this secrecy and spying at great personal danger and cost to himself.

    Spying has gone from a small-scale CIA thing to a big business, a massive imperial (NSA) enterprise, and big businesses always try to expand. And government bureaucracies always try to expand. And Conservatives, who usually speak against big government love it. And Liberals, who should hate it, feel obliged to go along with it.

    And thanks to our oligarchic (ODINO) system of governance, the spying business (including especially the corporations which do much of the NSA’s work, like the corporation for which Snowden worked, are free to make campaign contributions and to do all the other effectively-bribery things that are the lubrication and the fuel of our oligacrchic control of government by wealthy individuals and businesses. This mechanism is much bigger than “Citizens United” etc.

    So spying, NSA-style and perhaps others not in the spotlight, are big business and getting bigger, out of control, and with no “mission” except to grow as a business. Similar to DOD and the MIC. Similar to the private prison business and the engineering of crimes to keep their prisons full of American prisoners at such a high cost to society and to the prisoners and their families.

    That’s how business works in America these days. Let’s all thank Snowden and look forward to Oliver Stone’s movie.

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