Sony Pictures buys film rights to Snowden book

Michael Cieply

After a long, slow haul, the film rights to Glenn Greenwald's book about Edward J. Snowden and his revelations about electronic surveillance by United States security officials have found a home, at Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Sony said on Wednesday that it had acquired rights to Mr. Greenwald's book, "No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the U. S. Surveillance State," for the producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. Mr. Wilson and Ms. Broccoli are known for their work on James Bond films like "Skyfall" and "Quantum of Solace," both of which were released by Sony and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

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Mr. Greenwald's book, whose rights were represented by both the Paradigm agency and Writers House, had been in consideration around Hollywood since the fall, as potential buyers fretted about how to tell a real-life story that is still playing out.

Glenn Greenwalds new book, 'No Place to Hide,' is seen at a book store on May 13, 2014 in Miami.
Getty Images

Mr. Snowden remains in Russia, and is wanted by the authorities in the United States, where he faces criminal charges. Last month, he retained a Washington lawyer in hopes of reaching a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Sony is no stranger to the complexities of timely nonfiction, having released both "The Social Network," about Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg, and "Zero Dark Thirty," about the killing of Osama bin Laden. "No Place to Hide" was published in the United States by Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Henry Holt & Company.

—By Michael Cieply of The New York Times