After lining up some high-profile casting in recent weeks, Oliver Stone’s biopic of Edward Snowden has apparently begun shooting with star Joseph Gordon-Levitt appearing in the first official image from Snowden.
Open Road Films and Gordon-Levitt released the new image today (March 3) featuring the actor as the former information analyst who was deemed a national security risk when he released a deluge of confidential documents that revealed aspects of the U.S. government’s illegal surveillance of its own citizens. The National Security Agency whistleblower is currently living under asylum in Russia.
The first image from the film is said to be of Gordon-Levitt as a uniformed Snowden in the days before the controversial events took place that would make him a household name.
“Before he was a whistle-blower, Edward was an ordinary man who unquestioningly served his country,” reads the studio’s description of the photo.
Stone’s film focuses primarily on Snowden’s initial release of information to journalists, his time in Russia as he waited to know whether he’d be granted asylum, and the uncertain period when he faced the possibility of extradition to the U.S. to face charges for leaking sensitive data. The books The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena (Snowden’s attorney in Russia) served as the inspiration for the film.
Along with Gordon-Levitt, the cast of the film also includes Shailene Woodley, Nicolas Cage, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Olyphant, Zachary Quinto, and Melissa Leo.
Snowden hits theaters December 25, 2015.