First Look at Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden


Ever since rumors first started to emerge about an Oliver Stone-directed Edward Snowden biopic, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was the most prominent name being thrown around the play the lead.

The film, titled, simply Snowden and based in part on The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man by Glenn Greenwald‘s former Guardian colleague Luke Harding, started filming this week. And Gordon-Levitt posted the first photo of himself as Snowden on Facebook:

In a note to fans that accompanied the photos, the actor shared some details about his first day on the set:

I was surprised when I first learned this about Snowden–that he enlisted in the US Army in 2004. He wanted to go fight in Iraq, but during basic training at Fort Benning, he broke both of his legs and received an administrative discharge. After that, he was still determined to serve his country (love him or hate him, you gotta admit the guy’s strong-willed) and so he ended up getting a job at the CIA, which is where his career in Intelligence began.

Today’s scenes felt like a really good way to start this shoot. It was hard, but of course, nowhere near as hard as real basic training. And me, I’m just honored and excited to be doing a soldier sequence with Oliver. I keep saying to myself: “fuck, this guy directed Platoon!”

Greenwald, who wrote a competing Snowden book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, has his own movie version of the story in the works, coming on the heels of his appearance in Laura Poitras’ Citizenfour, which won a Best Documentary Oscar last month. Last spring, he speculated that Jared Leto could play Snowden in the film, with Edward Norton taking on the Greenwald role.

Stone’s movie features Zachary Quinto (of Heroes and Star Trek fame) as Greenwald along with Melissa Leo as Poitras and Shailene Woodley as Snowden’s girlfriend Lindsay Mills.

[Photos via Wikimedia Commons]

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