The Hollywood Reporter reports that Sony has snagged the rights to Glenn Greenwald’s Edward Snowden-based book, No Place to Hide for Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the producers behind the long-running James Bond franchise.
Apparently, the goal will be to craft a political thriller in the same vein as “The Social Network” and “Captain Philips,” but not like the Wikileaks thriller, “The Fifth Estate,” which crashed and burned last year.
Sony will have to crack a couple of problems if they are going to sell a hundred-million dollars worth of tickets. Unlike the story behind “The Social Network,” Snowden’s story is well-known and has saturated the public through the news media for two years already — and it hasn’t captured anyone’s imagination in a long while.
Unlike “Captain Phillips,” Snowden is not a sympathetic character, nor are the journalists harboring and enabling him. Moreover, Tom Hanks fighting off and hoping to outsmart Somali pirates promised action. Snowden’s a pencil-neck who betrayed his country and stole from his employer before scurrying off to Russia (of all places).
Greenwald and the producers will also have to deal with a studio that is madly in love with Barack Obama, the man in charge of the government overreach that is the “villain” of the story.
Will the same Sony that wanted to release “Zero Dark Thirty” right before the election produce a fact-based film damaging to Obama’s already diminished legacy?
Will the same Sony that hosted Obama fundraisers allow the truth to be told about Obama trashing his predecessor’s surveillance state as a candidate and then putting that same program on steroids as president?
Snowden is nothing close to a hero, but he thinks himself one. If past is prologue, he just handed the keys to his image to the worst possible studio.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC