×

Open Road Films has set a Christmas release in the U.S. for “Snowden” with Rhys Ifans and Joely Richardson joining the cast.

Production launched Friday in Munich. Shooting will take place until mid-May.

As previously announced, Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in the title role as whistleblower Edward Snowden, alongside Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson and Timothy Olyphant.

Pathé Films, which developed the project with Stone’s longtime producing partner Moritz Borman, has retained distribution rights for France and Benelux. Wild Bunch is handling international sales in all other territories while Open Road has U.S. rights.

Snowden was charged in 2013 by the U.S. Department of Justice with two counts of violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property, and his passport was revoked a week later by the U.S. Department of State. He was granted temporary asylum by Russia last year.

Borman is producing with Eric Kopeloff and Philip Schulz-Deyle. Stone is directing from a script he co-wrote with Kieran Fitzgerald, based on Luke Harding’s “The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man” and “Time of the Octopus,” by Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena.

Pathe will open “Snowden” in France on Dec. 30. Universum will launch it in Germany on Jan. 8.