Director Oliver Stone has acquired the rights to the novel Time of the Octopus, written by Edward Snowden's Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena to use as source material for his planned biopic we first reported on last week.
The novel appears to be a fictionalized version of the lawyer's experience with Edward Snowden, with the story centering on a Russian lawyer and an American whistleblower as he waits for the Russian government to consider his request for asylum. Deadline suggests that the book deal may be the closest thing that Oliver Stone and producer Moritz Borman can get to Edward Snowden's life rights.
Our original report from last week revealed that Oliver Stone acquired The Snowden Files: The Inside Story Of The World's Most Wanted Man, a new book from The Guardian journalist Luke Harding for the currently-untitled biopic. Oliver Stone plans on using both The Snowden Files and Time of the Octopus, which will be published later this year, as sources for the script.
Edward Snowden, a former contractor at the NSA, became a polarizing figure when he leaked thousands of classified documents that highlighted the government's surveillance on American citizens under Barack Obama's administration. The leak was the largest since Daniel Ellsburg released The Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War. He is hailed by some as a patriot, and a treasonous turncoat by others. If he ever returns to America, Edward Snowden faces a 30-year prison sentence.
Oliver Stone hopes to get production started later this year, but the project also faces competition from another Edward Snowden project entitled No Place to Hide. We reported last month that Sony Pictures optioned the rights to the book of the same name by Glenn Greenwald, with Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson (Skyfall) attached to produce.