‘Snowden’ Director Oliver Stone Still Baffled by Edward Snowden: ‘There Are Things We Don’t Know’

Comic-Con 2016: It’s the director’s first appearance at the annual San Diego conference

Last Updated: July 21, 2016 @ 1:18 PM

“Snowden” director Oliver Stone made his first-ever appearance at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday and dropped a bomb, indicating NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is something of an enigma.

“Right now, Snowden is a larger than life story of what’s happening right now under our noses and it affects the majority of you, in our audience,” Stone said as he opened his first appearance on stage at Hall H at San Diego’s convention center.

Stone described at length the effort he and his team spent trying to really get to know Edward Snowden — from visiting him in person in Moscow to discussing the Snowden case with the journalists at The Guardian who covered the scandal when Snowden, an analyst for the NSA, became a whistleblower against the U.S. government’s secret surveillance programs.

But even after everything they did to try to see the big picture, Stone said, they never quite got there.

“We went as far as we could,” Stone said. “There are things that we don’t know.”

Stone revealed he faced a lot of hurdles trying to get the movie funded. “It was turned down by every major studio,” he said. “It was definitely self-censorship [on the part of the major studios]. I don’t believe there was an agency like the NSA lurking in the background.”
Stone shared he finally got money from France and Germany, also getting domestic distribution from Open Road.
Stone went on to quash any potential conspiracy theories about the NSA’s involvement in the project. “They did not interfere with us,” he said. “I have no knowledge or suspicion that they did.”

“Snowden” star Joseph Gordon Levitt appeared on the panel, too, along with co-stars Zachary Quinto and Shailene Woodley.

The film enters theaters Sept. 16.