Academy-award winner Oliver Stone, director of hit political thrillers

JFK

and

Nixon

, is bringing Edward Snowden's story to the big screen.

Three years since his shocking revelations on NSA surveillance were exposed to the world, Hollywood have been quick to jump on board, releasing the trailer to the newest political thriller Snowden.

Advertisement

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the titular character, it tells the story of the former NSA contractor who was brought to fame for leaking classified documents on US and global surveillance.

A scene from Oliver Stone's latest thriller Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the former NSA contractor. now whistle blower Edward Snowden.
A scene from Oliver Stone's latest thriller Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the former NSA contractor. now whistle blower Edward Snowden.

The cast features Shailene Woodley playing Snowden's girlfriend Lindsay Mills, Zachary Quinto as journalist and

The Intercept

founder Glenn Greenwald, Tom Wilkinson as

Guardian

reporter Ewan MacAskill, and Melissa Leo as Laura Poitras.

Poitras directed the 2014 documentary Citizenfour, which was the first to detail Snowden's actions on the big screen. It featured exclusive footage of what happened in the infamous Hong Kong hotel room during the controversial leaks.

The trailer shows Snowden at various points of his life. While training to join the US Army's Special Forces, Snowden broke both legs during a training accident and was discharged shortly after. In a desire to serve his country, he signed up for the CIA.

A scene from Oliver Stone's latest thriller Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the former NSA contractor. now whistle blower Edward Snowden.
A scene from Oliver Stone's latest thriller Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the former NSA contractor. now whistle blower Edward Snowden.

Later he joined the NSA where he was exposed to the US government's vast cache of blanket surveillance. Disillusioned, he contacted a group of journalists to leak the classified documents, endangering himself and his loved ones.

The film is based on the books The Snowden Files by Luke Harding, which is drawn from his reporting on the leaks for the Guardian, and Time of the Octopus, written by Snowden's Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena.

A scene from Oliver Stone's latest thriller Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the former NSA contractor. now whistle blower Edward Snowden.
A scene from Oliver Stone's latest thriller Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the former NSA contractor. now whistle blower Edward Snowden.

Despite currently in asylum in Russia, Snowden maintains a sizeable online presence. Following the trailer's release, he

the video to his two million followers and said, "For two minutes and thirty nine seconds, everybody at NSA just stopped working".

- nzherald.co.nz