Sony Pictures acquires film rights for Greenwald's book on Snowden

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sony Pictures Entertainment has acquired the film rights to journalist Glenn Greenwald's book about former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, recruiting producers of the James Bond franchise to bring the story to screen, the studio said on Wednesday. Snowden, 30, who disclosed details of the U.S. National Security Agency's surveillance programs to news media last year, has been granted asylum in Russia and risks being arrested and extradited if he sets foot in any U.S.-allied country. Greenwald was one of the first journalists to report on Snowden's leaks in Britain's Guardian newspaper and won a Pulitzer Prize along with documentarian Laura Poitras for their work covering Snowden on the run. Greenwald's book, "No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State," came out on Tuesday and explores his involvement and work with Snowden to report on the NSA's intelligence-gathering activities. The journalist said he was "very happy" to be working with Sony Corp's Sony Pictures Entertainment to bring his book to the screen, saying the studio has "a successful track record of making thoughtful and nuanced true-life stories." "Growing up, I was heavily influenced by political films, and am excited about the opportunity to be part of a political film that will resonate with today's moviegoers," he said in a statement. Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli from EON Productions, the makers of the James Bond spy film franchise, will produce the film. No announcements on casting, directing or release date have been made. (Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Eric Kelsey and Tom Brown)