Although JFK might not be Oliver Stone’s most celebrated film (that superlative belongs to Platoon or Born on the Fourth of July, though for my money Natural Born Killers is his finest work), the conspiracy theory-laden account of the assassination of our 35th president is certainly the movie we most directly associate with his cinematic ideologies. As a filmmaker, Stone lands someplace between artist and muckraker, eagerly sinking his teeth into ideas steeped in sociopolitical commentary and events fertile in opportunity for “alternative readings.” Post-JFK films like Nixon, World Trade Center, and W. all fit this bill. And whatever he does with Edward Snowden, former CIA employee who publicized agency secrets in the name of government transparency.
Stone, as reported by Variety, will be adapting the biography The Snowden Files, The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding, journalist for The Guardian. With his usual production partner Moritz Borman in tow, the writer/director plans to begin work on the Snowden picture before the end of 2014.
Getty Images/Barton Gellman
The story of the 30-year-old Snowden — North Carolina upbringing, government leaks, and Russian asylum all — seems to be exactly the sort of thing that Stone has been building up his repertoire to take on. Stone says about Snowden’s life and work, “This is one of the greatest stories of our time. A real challenge.” A challenge that sits happily within the parameters of his usual routine, sure, but a challenge nonetheless.