EXCLUSIVE: Right after he ends his run as deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens in the FX series Justified, Timothy Olyphant will join Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley in the feature film about Edward Snowden that Oliver Stone is prepping in Munich. Ink isn’t dry on the deal, but he’s negotiating, and this is a strong next step for Olyphant after he told reporters at TCA last month that he needed a job after the completion of the sixth and final season of the drama based on the Elmore Leonard-created character. Open Road Films and Endgame Entertainment are partnered on the U.S. release of the Snowden film.
Olyphant will play a CIA agent who befriended Snowden before the latter fled to Russia seeking asylum after making public more classified documents than anyone since Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War. Stone and producing partner Moritz Borman have chosen a subject that continues to be hot-button stuff; the documentary Citizenfour is up for an Oscar this weekend. Borman is producing the film with Eric Kopeloff.
Stone based his script on a number of sources that include the novel Time Of The Octopus by Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena. That is the basis for the story of an American whistleblower who heads to Russia and the back and forth between the leaker and his lawyer as he waits while that country considers his request for asylum. Stone and Borman also bought the screen rights to The Snowden Files: The Inside Story Of The World’s Most Wanted Man, a book by Guardian journalist Luke Harding that’s published by Guardian Faber.
On the big screen, Olyphant most recently starred in the Shawn Levy-directed This Is Where I Leave You. He’s managed by Brillstein Entertainment Partners.