Oliver Stone Calls Pokemon Go a ‘New Level of Invasion’ at Comic-Con ‘Snowden’ Panel

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Oliver Stone (left) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt at the ‘Snowden’ panel on day 1 of Comic-Con International on July 21, 2016, in San Diego. (Photo: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

By Stephanie Panisello, Alex Stedman, Variety

Oliver Stone does not find the Pokemon Go phenomenon to be light-hearted fun, to say the least.

During a panel for his new movie Snowden in the first day of San Diego Comic-Con 2016, the director was asked about the app, and called it “a new level of invasion,” and said it could lead to totalitarianism.

“They are data mining every person in this room,” he said. “It’s what they call surveillance capitalism.”

Related: Oliver Stone Talks ‘Snowden’ Financing Struggle, Film vs. TV, and Military ‘Adulation’ in Movies

He also commented that the app could help usher in “a robot society.” Stone is not the first to raise concerns about Pokemon Go and data collection. After the now wildly popular app gained traction, many pointed out that Pokemon Go requires access to a user’s entire Google account on iOS, including location data, email, and browsing history.

Niantic, the developer behind Pokemon Go, said it “fixed the Google account scope” in a statement attached to the first patch to the game last week.

“We recently discovered that the Pokémon GO account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user’s Google account,” Niantic said in a statement. “However, Pokémon GO only accesses basic Google profile information (specifically, your User ID and email address) and no other Google account information is or has been accessed or collected.”

Related: ‘Snowden’ Comic-Con Trailer: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley Face Intense Pressure

Cast members at the panel included Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, showing his patriotism in an American flag t-shirt, Shailene Woodley, and Zachary Quinto as Glenn Greenwald.

The movie focuses on “the ultimate conspiracy story,” said Stone.

‘Snowden’ Trailer:

Quinto added his own thoughts on Pokemon Go, saying to much applause, “People need to pursue what makes them happy. What makes me happy is looking up at people and putting down my screen for at least some part of the day.”

Stone said that in France, which provided financing for the film, “They have a respect for privacy there.” He said studios didn’t want to pick up his film, charging that “self censorship and corporate studio boards blocked funding abilities.” When asked whether the NSA could have disrupted funding of the film, Stone said, “I don’t acknowledge or feel suspicion that they did…I feel the 1984 Big Brother vibe in general in this society…I don’t know and neither do you.”

Related: Joseph Gordon-Levitt Dressed as Yoda for the ‘Star Wars’ Premiere

“The word patriot gets brought up a lot,” says Gordon-Levitt, “and I’m sitting next to the most patriotic people in American Cinema.” Gordon-Levitt donated a portion of his acting fee to the American Civil Liberties Union.

For Stone, Quinto, Gordon-Levitt, and Woodley, the film is a call to action. Quinto said, “The people in this room and the people at this convention are the absolute core of the message of this film. This is your world. Get involved and be aware of what’s happening.”

Snowden opens Sept. 16.