The first trailer for Snowden, Oliver Stone's biopic of whistleblower Edward Snowden was released on Wednesday, offering a glimpse of the forthcoming film that depicts Snowden's entry into the National Security Agency (NSA), his 2013 release of mass surveillance documents, and his subsequent escape to Hong Kong.
The film covers similar ground as Citizenfour, the 2014 documentary chronicling the fallout of Snowden's revelations, which was directed by Laura Poitras, one of the journalists who helped report on the documents, along with Glenn Greenwald. Citizenfour received the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2015.
All three are depicted in the film, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Snowden, Melissa Leo as Poitras, and Zachary Quinto as Greenwald. The film also stars Tom Wilkinson as Ewen MacAskill, the Guardian journalist who also traveled to Hong Kong to meet with Snowden and report on the leaks.
In the trailer, Snowden is shown being discharged from the army due to an injury and subsequently joining the NSA to "help my country make a difference in the world."
He is also shown taking an SD card loaded with government secrets out of the NSA building by hiding it under the tile of a Rubik's cube, perhaps a reference to a message he sent to Poitras ahead of their real-life rendezvous in Hong Kong: "We will meet in the hallway outside of the restaurant in the Mira Hotel. I will be working on a Rubik’s cube so that you can identify me."
(In reality, he simply put the files on a USB thumb drive and walked out of the building.)
Snowden watched the trailer, too.
For two minutes and thirty nine seconds, everybody at NSA just stopped working. https://t.co/OLjCV6wkGp
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 27, 2016
"Run, hide, live to tell the truth," the trailer states.
Snowden is set for release on September 16.