Open Road Films released a new trailer for the fact-based thriller “Snowden” on April 27 (watch it above). Does it look like an Oscar contender? Based on the true story of NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, who publicly revealed the details of the US government’s widespread surveillance program, it covers some of the same story that was featured in “Citizenfour,” which won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 2014 and then the Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking in 2015.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Snowden. The actor has yet to contend at the Oscars, despite a resume full of critically acclaimed films like “Mysterious Skin,” “(500) Days of Summer,” “Inception,” “Lincoln” and last year’s “The Walk.” Could this be his year? After all, the Oscars love actors who play real people; Michael Fassbender earned a Best Actor nomination just last year for playing another contemporary tech genius, Steve Jobs.
Oliver Stone directs. He’s a three-time Oscar champ, including Best Director victories for “Platoon” (1986) and “Born on the Fourth of July” (1989). But he hasn’t been nominated in any category since his screenwriting bid for “Nixon” in 1995. Stone also co-wrote Snowden with Kieran Fitzgerald, who previously penned the Tommy Lee Jones western “The Homesman.”
And let’s not forget Open Road Films, the distributor that just pulled off an Oscar coup by winning Best Picture last year for another contemporary true story, “Spotlight,” about the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. Do they have another winner on their hands? They’ve scheduled “Snowden” for release on September 16.