Director Oliver Stone is known, that he is in his films like historical characters (as e.g.. US president in „Nixon - The downfall of a president“, „W - A misunderstood life“ and „JFK - Tatort Dallas“) dedicated or historical events (as e.g.. the 11. September in „World Trade Center“) illuminated. In „Snowden“ He lived this preference for political materials from further, he by the story of whistleblower Edward Snowden took to chest. The then 29-year-old Snowden made in 2013 furore, because he secret NSA documents, which laid a worldwide collection of private data open, let go to the media with the help of journalists. Pursued by the authorities of their own country, lives of Computer-Analyst currently with his girlfriend Lindsay Mills in Russian asylum.

After the highly acclaimed documentary „Citizenfour“, turned to Laura Poitras about Edward Snowden, 2014 won the Oscar for best documentary, got the project by Oliver Stone new boost. Originally, the project was named „The Snowden Files“, before it was renamed in Snowden. The film is based on two books about the famous whistleblower, on the one hand „The Snowden Files“ des Guardian-Journalisten Luke Harding, on the other hand „Time of the Octopus“ von Anatoly Kucherena. In Oliver Stones Thriller „Snowden“ are Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a whistleblower Edward Snowden secret information the NSA award.