Edward Snowden is going to stay in hiding for four months longer than expected. Or the movie version of him, that is, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Oliver Stone’s biopic Snowden. Open Road Films, the indie distributor which scored its first best picture Oscar nomination last month with Spotlight, confirmed today that Snowden will open in theaters on Sept. 16 instead of its previously reserved date of May 13.
Snowden has moved around a lot. The film, based on two nonfiction books about the National Security Agency whistleblower, was originally scheduled to open on Christmas Day of last year. In October, when it was pushed to 2016, speculation focused on Stone’s ambition to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 11. It might still premiere there, but with the new September date, Open Road is in an ideal position to debut the movie at either the Telluride or Toronto film festival, both bellwethers for Oscar attention. The film’s major competition in its new calendar slot is Bridget Jones’ Baby.
Stone has won three Oscars — for writing 1978’s Midnight Express and directing 1986’s Platoon and 1989’s Born on the Fourth of July — but has not enjoyed the same level of critical success in recent years. His previous two films were the underwhelming Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps in 2010 and Savages in 2012. However, Snowden is the director’s most overt political project since 2008’s George W. Bush biopic W.
Snowden, which costars Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, and Tom Wilkinson, is hitting theaters almost two years to the day that Laura Poitras’ documentary Citizenfour premiered at the New York Film Festival. That film, an all-access tag-along with Snowden during the days immediately before and after his earth-quaking data leak, won the Oscar for best documentary.