Salt director Phillip Noyce is keen to turn the real-life hunt for fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden into a Hollywood thriller with Liam Hemsworth in the lead role.
The former technical contractor and Central Intelligence Agency (Cia) worker has been on the run ever since he confessed to leaking confidential information on mass surveillance operations undertaken by the U.S. and U.K. governments on their own citizens.
Snowden, who has been charged with committing espionage against America, is currently holed up at an airport in Moscow, Russia as he tries to seek asylum in Ecuador, and now Noyce has revealed he is interested in turning the scandal into a big screen film.
The filmmaker tells NBC News, "This is a movie that's playing out before our eyes, even though we can't see anything... Like my last big movie, Salt, it's a story where you're not quite certain if you're dealing with a heroine or a villain... You can speculate he's (Snowden is) motivated by complete unselfish motives through belief in protecting worldwide public interests. Or you can speculate he was himself a victim of knowing that notoriety might bring him immortality...
"In his own mind, he's obviously a hero. But what is truly motivating him? Does he want to be a 15-minute celebrity? Is it fame or fortune? Or does he truly want to sacrifice himself Christ-like for the rest of mankind? We don't know how this will end and the end might not come for another 50 years. We haven't even finished Act 1 yet."
However, Noyce is hoping to get started on the project soon - and he has his sights set on securing Hemsworth for the part: "He's perfectly positioned as a rising star. I think he'll probably be one of the great ones. His older brother, Chris, could also play him but Liam looks more like an everyman. I think he'd be perfect."