Oliver Stone, director of the upcoming Snowden film, revealed that every major studio rejected his film about the life of Edward Snowden due to censorship from their corporate bosses at Comic-Con on Thursday.

Oliver Stone Reveals Why ‘Snowden’ Was Rejected

Stone told the audience at the San Diego Con that he does not believe the National Security Agency is putting pressure on the studios, but rather the corporate boards who control them.

Stone received financing for the film from France and Germany — holding on to the belief that Snowden still had a story to tell.

Snowden is a larger-than-life story of what is happening right now, under our noses and it affects the majority of you, in this audience,” Stone said.


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The director called Snowden a “mystery” despite his interviews, the articles and the Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour, which highlighted Snowden’s actions.

“He is still a mystery. We went as far as we could, and he cooperated with us,” Stone admitted. “[But] there are things that we don’t know, and things that he will hopefully reveal one day.”

Snowden now lives in Russia, and Stone took the opportunity to meet with him in Moscow, to gain insight into his character for the film.

“He is a man who is covert and keeps to himself and lives on the computer,” the director shared. “He was going through a painful period, and I found him very resolute and strong.”

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays the role of Snowden in the film, also tried to get to know the former NSA contractor — saying he appreciated Snowden’s optimism about change.

“He is extremely optimistic about technology and the future and how technology can improve the state of democracy and the state of the human race,” the actor said.

Stone and Gordon-Levitt remarked on the government’s role in our privacy and the film’s ability to show all sides of the issue.

“We’re promised privacy in the Constitution, and if the government was going to change those rules, they have to be open about it,” Gordon-Levitt said.

“We don’t want to take sides on this in the movie,” Stone added. “You have to see the movie to explore the positions.”

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