The Man Behind the Bourne Movies Is Obsessed With Edward Snowden

By
Gilroy. Photo: Jimi Celeste/Patrick McMullan

Bourne series screenwriter and director Tony Gilroy can't get enough of the NSA leak saga set off by former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, for obvious reasons. "The highlight of my week was finding out in the New York Times that his tradecraft contact was the Rubik's Cube, which is what we used in Duplicity for Clive Owen and Julia Roberts," Gilroy told Daily Intelligencer last night at an event for the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Jaeger-LeCoultre's new filmmaker-in-residence program. "He's obviously a fan of Duplicity. It's pretty specific," Gilroy said. "My brother wrote a novel 30 years ago about NSA. I'm obsessed with this story."

"There must be 800 or 1,500 or 2,000 people who have this same access that Snowden did. IT people who are 29 or 30 or 35, it is amazing that someone hasn't broken until now," Gilroy continued. "They keep saying, 'Oh, we need to have this debate.' Well, if this kid doesn’t do this, we never have this debate. They will never ventilate this on their own. And there may be no stopping it. It may be inevitable. But it will never be self-ventilated. What is the mechanism by which it is going to be aired out?"

But is there enough "espinocracy" fodder for a film? And, more important, who will play Snowden? Fellow directors/producers/screenwriters James Toback and Barry Levinson agreed that Ryan Gosling would work. "I think it should be the Rock, though," said Levinson. "If you want to sell it."