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Joseph Gordon-Levitt to play Snowden in Oliver Stone’s biopic

Joseph Gordon-Levitt to play Snowden in Oliver Stone’s biopic
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is now confirmed to play the role of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden in an upcoming Oliver Stone-directed film, ending months of speculation surrounding who would be selected.

The Guardian confirmed this week that Gordon-Levitt, 33, has landed a gig portraying the former NSA contractor in the Oscar-winning director’s forthcoming feature scheduled to start filming early next year in Munich.

According to the UK paper, the backers of the still untitled film revealed on Monday that the Los Angeles-born actor will play Snowden, although details about the project remain otherwise largely unknown at this point.

Edward Snowden (AFP Photo/Frederick Florin)

RT reported previously that Stone’s team was eyeing Gordon-Levitt, according at least to a September article in Variety in which a film critic for the magazine said both the actor and the production team in charge were hoping to secure the TV and film star for what could be the first major motion picture on the NSA leaker.

Stone, 68, has purchased the rights to both “The Snowden Files,” a 2014 book about the NSA leaks authored by Guardian journalist Luke Harding, and “Time of the Octopus,” a novel based loosely on the Snowden saga penned by the former contractor’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena.

"This is one of the greatest stories of our time," Stone said previously.

Yet while that film is slated to begin filming in Munich come January, a separate project has also been planned by Sony Pictures, which last year announced it optioned the rights to “No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State” by Glenn Greenwald.

Oliver Stone (AFP Photo/Timothy Hiatt)

Last month, Greenwald and Snowden both appeared prominently in “Citizen Four,” a Laura Poitras-produced documentary that begins with the ex-NSA analyst’s first face-to-face meeting with the press last spring inside a Honk Kong hotel rooms ahead of what soon became a stream of intelligence leaks concerning the surveillance practices of the United States government and its allies. Snowden soon after left as American authorities drafted an indictment, and has been confined to Russia since August 2013 when he was trapped in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport before being granted asylum by the Kremlin.