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Edward Snowden

Watch: Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Hong Kong as Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone’s biopic

First look at film about the US covert surveillance whistle-blower suggests it is slick and stylish, though Nicolas Cage’s turn as a government official puts a dent in its credibility

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 April, 2016, 12:14pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 April, 2016, 1:11pm

The first full trailer for Oliver Stone’s Snowden has arrived – and it offers a fleeting glimpse of Hong Kong’s alluring sights, as you’d expect.

EXCLUSIVE: US spies on Chinese mobile phone companies, steals SMS data: Edward Snowden

In what looks to be a slick and stylish spy thriller, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who in June 2013 fled the United States for Hong Kong, where he blew the whistle on the intrusion by the US National Security Agency’s covert surveillance programmes into the privacy of ordinary US citizens.

How Oliver Stone is tackling the Edward Snowden story

WATCH: Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Gordon-Levitt is supported by Melissa Leo as filmmaker Laura Poitras, who directed the Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour (2014); Tom Wilkinson and Zachary Quinto respectively as journalists Ewen MacAskill and Glenn Greenwald; and Shailene Woodley as Snowden’s girlfriend.

Nicolas Cage also shows up as an unidentified government official – a bad sign for Snowden’s credibility but a great pointer for the story’s potential as silly entertainment. “Find the terrorists in the internet haystack,” he says in a scene included in the trailer.

EXCLUSIVE: NSA targeted China's Tsinghua University in extensive hacking attacks, says Snowden

Judging from his reaction on Twitter, Snowden himself seems happy enough with the production.

The fact-based movie is directed by Stone, who co-wrote the screenplay (with Kieran Fitzgerald) based on two books: The Snowden Files by Guardian reporter Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena.

Snowden leaves Hong Kong 'on his own accord', arrives in Moscow with WikiLeaks help

Originally slated for a December 2015 release, Snowden is currently due to open in American cinemas on September 16. No Hong Kong release date has been set for the moment.

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