Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Adds Nicholas Cage And ‘Justified’ Star Timothy Olyphant

Edward Snowden, the notorious NSA whistleblower, made headlines again Sunday as the subject of the documentary CitizenFour, which won the Best Documentary Oscar. But a theatrical film about Snowden has also been in the works with director Oliver Stone, titled Snowden. It was announced Monday that Nicholas Cage has joined the cast as a former intelligence officer, and Variety reports the movie is set for a Christmas release.

In recent years, Cage has taken more commercial roles in films like the National Treasure series, Drive Angry and the Ghost Rider films. Could he be yearning for something more serious and adding some Oscar statuettes to his mantel, like ex-wife Patricia Arquette, who won Best Supporting Actress Sunday for Boyhood?

Previous casting announcements for Snowden included Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden, with 2015 Oscar-nominee Shailene Woodley cast as Snowden’s girlfriend, Lindsay Mills. Melissa Leo and Zachary Quinto have also been cast in the film.

Leo and Quinto play filmmaker Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, and the real-life pair hosted a Reddit AMA with Snowden Monday. One Reddit user asked about Neil Patrick Harris’s joke at the Oscars that Snowden was absent from the ceremony “for a treason.”

“To be honest, I laughed at NPH. I don’t think it was meant as a political statement, but even if it was, that’s not so bad. My perspective is if you’re not willing to be called a few names to help out your country, you don’t care enough.

“If this be treason, then let us make the most of it.”

In other recent casting news, Deadline revealed last week that Justified leading man Timothy Olyphant had also been added to the project now that his stint with Justified is ending. The series is in its sixth and final season, and the Justified Facebook page posted a photo of Olyphant’s last day on set last week, so the series is now officially a wrap.

The Emmy-nominated actor had been quiet about impending film roles, making the talk show rounds discussing how he would soon be unemployed. Anyone who has seen the modern day western “dramedy” would have been surprised if the actor didn’t bounce back quickly after playing U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, based on the fiction of the late Elmore Leonard. Apparently Olive Stone felt the same way, casting him as a CIA agent who has befriended Snowden, according to Technology Tell.

[Photos by Ilya S. Savenok and Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]