Edward Snowden‘s story is coming to the big screen. Sony Pictures said today that it has acquired film rights to Pulitzer-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald‘s upcoming book No Place To Hide: Edward Snowden, The NSA, And The U.S. Surveillance State. The pic about the largest leak of intelligence documents and the young NSA analyst contractor behind it will be produced by Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the producers of the James Bond spy franchise. With the deal, Wilson and Broccoli will shift from their iconic fictitious 007 to a real spy story: Greenwald’s book, which hit shelves yesterday, chronicles his involvement in working with Snowden to break numerous stories about the U.S. government’s intelligence-gathering operations in the UK’s The Guardian. It is a thrilling personal narrative of the events as they unfolded and an important historical reflection on the broader implications of the NSA’s intelligence-gathering methods that have since come into question. Greenwald’s reporting for on the leak earned him the Pulitzer Prize last month.
“Glenn Greenwald’s No Place To Hide is a terrifying personal account of one of the most relevant political events of our time,” Wilson and Broccoli said in today’s announcement of the project. “We are thrilled to be working with Glenn to bring this important story to the screen.”
Sony has been the go-to studio for films based on real-life stories (think Moneyball, Captain Phillips, The Social Network, with the Aaron Sorkin Steve Jobs biopic also in the works). Now they have arguably the biggest news story of the 21st century in house. No writer has been attached.
“Edward Snowden’s explosive revelations have raised important questions about the role of government in protecting its citizens and the balance between national security and personal freedom,” said Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad. “We are extremely proud that Michael, Barbara and Glenn chose Sony to bring this riveting story to the big screen, and believe that Glenn’s account of this incredible international event will make for a gripping and unforgettable film.” Elizabeth Cantillon, Columbia Pictures’ EVP Production, will oversee for the studio.
The deal was brokered by Lucy Stille at Paradigm and Dan Conaway at Writers House.