Edward Snowden is either a mad genius or a patriotic whistleblower.
At least that's the impression one gets in the first trailer for Snowden, director Oliver Stone's upcoming drama based on the former CIA agent's unauthorized disclosure of government surveillance.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in the title role. We first see him serving in the U.S. Army followed by his enthusiasm to join the CIA because. "I'd like to help my country make a difference in the world," he tells a CIA recruiter (Rhys Ifans)
As we now know, he was eventually hired and would go on to work for NSA contractors.
One boss (Nicolas Cage) tells him, "Find the terrorist in the Internet haystack."
When Snowden learns that the government is conducting mass surveillance of around the world, he copies classified information onto a tiny computer chip.
According to the trailer, he sneaks the chip out of his office by hiding it in a...Rubik's Cube!
"I just want to get this data to the world," Gordon-Levitt says in a voiceover.
What follows is a Homeland-like thriller.
Shailene Woodley co-stars as Snowden's girlfriend.
The Divergent star opened up about the controversial figure back when she was shooting the film in March 2015.
"I define a hero as somebody, who against the judgment of other people, if they believe something will positively impact the world and they choose to do it and honor their integrity, that's what I sort of consider a hero, no matter how big or small a feat they create," she told me then. "And in that light, absolutely I think that Edward Snowden is a hero."
Calling Snowden "selfless," Woodley said, "I would like to say thank you to him."
Snowden is currently living in exile in an undisclosed location in Russia. He is wanted by the U.S. Department of Justice and charged with espionage and theft of government property.
Snowden will be in theaters on Sept. 16.