You've probably heard people say that the Edward Snowden saga is like a "Hollywood movie," or "something from a movie script," right?
Well, four amateur filmmakers in Hong Kong decided that they had to do something with this story before tinseltown got its hands on it.
The result is Verax, a five-minute thriller about Snowden that is picking up thousands of views on Youtube.
The film tries to recreate the first days of Snowden's self-imposed exile in Hong Kong, as reporters, local detectives and U.S. officials desperately tried to locate the runaway NSA leaker.
It was produced in just a week -- and while the camera work is somewhat shaky and the audio can be rough at times, the filmmakers used real-life locations to give viewers a sense of what Snowden may have encountered.
One big plus for Verax is its star actor, who bears an eerie resemblance to the real life leaker. He's actually an American teacher at a Hong Kong school.
"We needed someone convincing to play Snowden," cinematographer Edwin Lee told the AFP news agency."To be the first one to really do anything about it...it was quite invigorating," Lee said of the filming experience.
Lee, the only member of the film's team who actually has a degree in filmmaking, did not count out the possibility of future Snowden flicks, as this real-life spy story plays out.
So what's next in the Snowden saga? How would you end a Snowden film? Here are some options:
1) The Terminal: Russian Style
Like Tom Hanks in 2004's The Terminal, Snowden stays trapped for months at the international arrivals lounge of Moscow's airport while Russia, Venezuela, Ecuador and the U.S. struggle over his fate. Snowden falls in love with a sexy stewardess who traffics his secret information on the NSA's spy tactics around the world.
Reality Check: Minus the sexy stewardess, this version could actually play out. Ecuador received an asylum request from Snowden last week, and gave him a pass that allowed him to travel from Hong Kong to Russia. But late last week, this nation gave mixed signals about whether it would indeed give asylum to Snowden, with officials there saying that Snowden actually has to step into an Ecuadorean embassy, or set foot on Ecuadorean soil to formally request asylum . With no valid passport, Snowden may be stuck in Moscow until another nation sticks its neck out for him. There are no direct flights from Moscow to Ecuador.
2) Smuggled to Caracas
The president of Venezuela arrives in Moscow for a summit of gas-exporting countries. After holding secret talks with Vladimir Putin, the South American nation's chief executive has Snowden smuggled onto his presidential plane and takes him back to Caracas in first-class luxury.
Reality Check: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is actually in Moscow right now for a summit of gas-exporting nations. The rumor among journalists in Venezuela is that Maduro, a tough critic of the U.S., might actually return to the country with Snowden.
3) Law & Order: Special Snowden Episode
Snowden cuts a deal with prosecutors and agrees to return to the U.S. to face trial. But he places certain conditions on where he can be tried, and under what circumstances, saying he'll exchange jail time for secrets he hid somewhere on the web. The ensuing legal bargain is more dramatic and confusing than a Law & Order season finale.
Reality Check: In a letter sent to news outlets last week, Snowden's dad, Lon, said that his son would be willing to return to the U.S if he is not held before trial or forced to avoid the media while a trial takes place. Lon Snowden also said his son would face U.S. justice if he could choose the trial venue. Snowden has written that if he were tried in northern Virginia, for example, the jury would be biased against him, since the odds are good that it could include former or current employees of U.S. security agencies.