“Richard Jewell,” previously titled “The Ballad of Richard Jewell,” is based on the story of a security guard who was falsely accused in the bombing that took place at Atlanta’s Centennial Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Billy Ray wrote the screenplay based on the 1997 Vanity Fair article from Marie Brenner that describes how Jewell, originally hailed by the media as a hero for alerting police to the presence of a bomb and helping evacuate the area, was identified as a prime suspect in the Olympic Park bombing, completely upending his life in the process.
Paul Walter Hauser is playing the lead role, with Sam Rockwell and Kathy Bates also starring in the drama. Olivia Wilde will play real-life reporter Kathy Scruggs, who covered the events as they unfolded, while Jon Hamm will play an FBI agent who investigates the bombing. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill had previously been attached to star.
“Richard Jewell” reunites Eastwood with Warner Bros. His last film, “The Mule,” grossed $171.3 million at the global box office.
Tim Moore, Jessica Meier, Kevin Misher, Jonah Hill, DiCaprio, and Jennifer Davisson are producing “Richard Jewell.” Eastwood is both directing and producing through his Malpaso production company. Malpaso, Misher Films, 75 Year Plan, and Appian Way are the production companies.