clock menu more-arrow no yes

Watch the first trailer for Snowden, a new political thriller about the NSA leak

It's been three years since Edward Snowden leaked crucial NSA documents for all the world to see, revealing a widespread and deeply involved surveillance program that has changed the way many Americans think about their government. The situation hasn't at all resolved — Snowden is still living/hiding in Russia to avoid extradition to the US — but that still hasn't stopped director Oliver Stone from making a thriller about it.

Enter Snowden, Stone's upcoming political thriller about the leak and its consequences. The first full trailer — which dropped on April 27 — provides our first look at Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Snowden, who's portrayed here as a combination of The Social Network's Mark Zuckerberg and a marble-voiced Jason Bourne.

Meanwhile, Zachary Quinto takes on the role of the Intercept's Glenn Greenwald (whom Snowden first entrusted with the NSA information) while Shailene Woodley sits in the background as Snowden's encouraging girlfriend Lindsay Mills and Nicolas Cage spits fire as some unnamed government official, which seems about right.

Even if the movie focuses only on his initial decision to leak the documents and the government's attempts to keep the NSA's classified information under wraps, it'll have plenty to work with. And taking on the recent past isn't out of character for Stone, whose directing oeuvre includes George W. Bush feature W (2008) and World Trade Center (2006). Of course, neither of those previous films was received particularly well, so it remains to be seen whether Snowden can break that streak by providing some prescient commentary alongside the high-octane thrills the trailer promises.

Snowden will be in theaters on September 16, 2016.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for The Weeds

Get our essential policy newsletter delivered Fridays