How radical is Hollywood? There are two competing movie projects sure to lionize Edward Snowden betraying America’s secrets. Naturally, one of them is helmed by Oliver Stone, who bows to no one in casting America as a global supervillain. See his Untold History of the United States bilge on Showtime.
"This is one of the greatest stories of our time," said the leftist director. "A real challenge." Stone has repeatedly called Snowden a "hero" and slammed President Obama as a "disgrace" for his "Bush-style eavesdropping techniques." A rival Snowden movie based on Glenn Greenwald's Snowden book No Place to Hide is also in the works from Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the James Bond movies. Alongside the Brian Williams softball special on NBC, there’s a “Snowden business” emerging:
Meanwhile, media critic Michael Wolff writes in a British GQ column today that The Guardian, even without Greenwald, "essentially went into the Edward Snowden business — and continues in it." And right on cue: "The story of Edward Snowden is truly extraordinary, and the unprecedented revelations he brought to light have forever transformed our understanding of — and relationship with — government and technology," said Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger in the movie announcement. "We're delighted to be working with Oliver Stone and Moritz Borman on the film." For the newspaper, Snowden is now subject, source, and star.
"To me, Snowden is a hero because he revealed secrets that we should all know, that the United States has repeatedly violated the Fourth Amendment," Stone said in a press conference at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic last July. "He should be welcomed and offered asylum. But he has no place to hide because every country is intimidated by the United States." He said "It's a disgrace that Obama is more concerned with hunting down Snowden than reforming these George Bush-style eavesdropping techniques,"
Stone will also write the script, with Harding and other Guardian journalists serving as consultants. Drew Taylor of Moviefone said the obvious (except for the high hopes):
This seems like perfect material for Stone, who has built his career around historical tales that can be gleefully milked for all of their paranoid glory. It doesn't matter whether or not JFK was killed by a lone gunman or a vast conspiracy that involved the CIA, Cuban separatists and petty Southern gangsters; in Oliver Stone's universe both "truths" rest side by side and one is always just as entertaining as the other....Hopefully this will put him back in his conspiratorial wheelhouse.
All this illustrates the Michael Medved maxim: Don’t buy that Hollywood is only into making money. Left-wing movies about the “national security state” aren’t winners. Last year’s DreamWorks film about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange bombed at the box office, grossing only $3.2 million. Fair Game, the Valerie Plame movie, mostly enriched Valerie Plame: It grossed $9.5 million. Stone’s Bush-bashing W. movie only grossed $25 million.