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Oliver Stone to direct, write Edward Snowden biopic

One of cinema's most provocative directors says his next film will be about one of the world's most controversial whistleblowers.

Oliver Stone announced Monday that he will write and direct an adaptation of "The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man," a book by U.K. Guardian journalist Luke Harding focusing on National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

"This is one of the greatest stories of our time," Stone said in a statement. He added that making such a film is "a real challenge."

No stranger to biopics, the 67-year-old filmmaker has previously taken on projects like 1991's "The Doors," 1995's "Nixon" and 2008's "W.," about then-current President George W. Bush. Many of his films also question social issues, like 1989's "Born on the Fourth of July."

He will have some deep-pocketed competition. Sony Pictures last month purchased the big-screen rights to Glenn Greenwald's "No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the U.S. Surveillance State." The film is being produced by James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.

Stone has advocated for the former NSA contract systems analyst, who is living in Russia on a temporary grant of asylum after leaking massive amounts of NSA documents to the media.

"Edward Snowden is a hero because he did this not for profit. Not to give secrets away that could hurt our country supposedly. I haven't seen one evidence of that. He's doing it out of conscience," Stone said at press conference in Tokyo last August.

The three-time Oscar winner and Vietnam veteran recently directed the 10-part miniseries, "Olver Stone's Untold History of the United States," which examines some of the less honorable moments in America's past.

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