February 20, 2015 / 9:14 PM / 4 years ago

Oliver Stone's 'Snowden' film set for Christmas release

Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden appears live via video during a student organized world affairs conference at the Upper Canada College private high school in Toronto, in this file photo taken February 2, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone’s big-screen dramatization of U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden’s mass surveillance revelations will be released on Dec. 25, distributor Open Road Films said on Friday.

“Snowden” will star Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked details of U.S. and British surveillance and electronic monitoring programs.

Filming has begun in Munich and will move to other locations before its expected completion in May. Open Road Films is a joint venture by Regal Entertainment Group and AMC Theatres, part of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.

Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto and Tom Wilkinson will also star in the film adapted from books “The Snowden Files” by Luke Harding and “Time of the Octopus” by Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden’s lawyer.

Snowden’s disclosures were documented in filmmaker Laura Poitras’ “Citizenfour,” which was released last year and is the favorite to win the best documentary Oscar on Sunday. [ID:nL1N0VT2GO]

The 31-year-old Snowden fled to Hong Kong before revealing the secret surveillance programs and now lives in Russia.

Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Mary Milliken and Lisa Shumaker

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