Oliver Stone’s take on former National Security Agency contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden has its first trailer.
Due out Sept. 16, Stone’s Snowden stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the title character, and backs the actor with an all-star cast that includes Nicolas Cage, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Rhys Ifans, Scott Eastwood, Joely Richardson, and Timothy Olyphant.
“The NSA is really tracking every cell phone in the world,” Gordon-Levitt says as Snowden in the trailer (using a flat affect reminiscent of Snowden’s actual voice). “There’s something going on in the government that’s really wrong, and I can’t ignore it,” he says later in the teaser, which plays up the conspiratorial aspects of the real story and puts Snowden on the run from his own country.
Speaking last year, Gordon-Levitt revealed he met Snowden before undertaking the role. “I left knowing without a doubt that what [Snowden] did, he did because he believed it was the right thing to do, that he believed it would help the country he loves,” Gordon-Levitt said of Snowden, whom he met in Russia. “Now, as he would say, it’s not for him to say whether it was right or wrong. That’s really for people to decide on their own, and I would encourage anybody to decide that on their own. I don’t want to be the actor guy who’s like, ‘You should listen to me! What he did was right!’ I don’t think that’s my place. Even though that is what I believe — that what he did was right.”
Stone, who has directed some incendiary films about the American political system (including JFK and Nixon), also met with the whistleblower.
“He’s a night owl, and he’s always in touch [with the outside world], and he’s working on some kind of constitution for the Internet with other people,” Stone said last year. “So he’s very busy. And he stays in that 70-percent-computer world. He’s on another planet that way. His sense of humor has gotten bigger, his tolerance. He’s not really in Russia in his mind – he’s in some planetary position up there.”