This is the question that Oliver Stone is going to answer in his latest film, Snowden. The film will focus on Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a former CIA employee who leaked government secrets from the NSA. The film is set to follow Snowden’s life from joining the US Army as a recruit, to joining the CIA and right up to the leaks. The issue of Snowden is a tricky one as some people see him as a hero for uncovering secrets about global surveillance, government secrecy and privacy of information. However, others see him as traitor for leaking national secrets that are meant to protect the American people. Everyone has an opinion on him, which instantly makes this a hop topic, and a perfect film for Hollywood.
Snowden is filled with an incredible cast, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the titular character, Shailene Woodley, Scott Eastwood, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Timothy Olyphant, Tom Wilkinson, Rhys Ifans and Nicolas Cage. Such an incredible cast, none of which make an appearance in this teaser trailer. But that doesn’t mean this trailer isn’t good. It’s a very effective trailer, slowly chronicling the path of Snowden’s life, the slow reveals of the American flag and the poignant sight of an upside flag help to create an impactful trailer without showing any footage from the film. The altered ‘One Nation’ message is really clever changing “Under God” to “Under Surveillance”. It’s a bold statement that makes you continue to wonder what direction the film is going to go in, whose side is the film going to take, hero or traitor?
Snowden is directed by Oliver Stone who has struggled to make a hit as big as Natural Born Killers. None of his past films have been able to hit as hard as Natural Born Killers did back in 1994, but after helping to kill Taylor Kitsch’s movie career in Savages, Stone looks like he could be back where he belongs. The controversial topic of Snowden is right down Stone’s alley and could be a career comeback for the director. Sadly to be sure of that we’ll need to see some actual footage. For now we’ll have to wait but the release of this teaser is sure to generate talking points about Snowden again as people continue to decide if Snowden is a hero or a traitor.
Snowden is out in America in December. No word of a UK release!