The first official trailer for Oliver Stone’s upcoming Edward Snowden biopic, Snowden, was released online Wednesday.
The film tells the story of the now-infamous former NSA contractor who became one of the most wanted men in the world when he published a trove of classified documents in summer 2013, detailing the National Security Administration’s covert surveillance techniques.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is set to play the titular hero/traitor, who is currently living in Russia, where he fled to avoid espionage charges in the United States.
This latest trailer gives fans a first look at Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden and Shailene Woodley (The Descendants, Insurgent) as Snowden’s love interest Lindsay Mills. Nicolas Cage, Melissa Leo, Timothy Olyphant, Scott Eastwood, Tom Wilkinson, and Zachary Quinto also star.
In March, writer-director Oliver Stone revealed that he’d held secret meetings with Snowden in Russia to prepare for the film, and he had even moved the entire production to Germany at one point to avoid possible interference from the NSA.
“It’s an amazing story,” Stone said at the Sun Valley Film Festival in Iowa. “Here’s a young man, 30 years old at that time, and he does something that’s so powerful. Who at 30 years old would do that, sacrificing his life in that way?”
Gordon-Levitt also met with Snowden during the course of the film’s production, later telling the Guardian that he believes what the ex-NSA contractor did “was right.”
“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,” the actor told the paper. “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.”
Snowden is due out in theaters September 16.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum.