Olivia Wilde and Jon Hamm have joined the cast of Clint Eastwood’s upcoming movie ‘Richard Jewell.’ Previously titled as ‘The Ballad of Richard Jewell,’ the movie features a star-studded cast including Paul Walter Hauser, Kathy Bates and Sam Rockwell. Hauser is set to play the titular character Jewell while Rockwell portrays his attorney and Kathy Bates plays the role of his mother.
Eastwood returns to the director’s chair after the 2018 film ‘The Mule’ from Warner Bros with the real-life drama. The movie is based on the life of Richard Jewell, a security guard of the Centennial Park Olympic stadium. His life turns upside down when an overzealous reporter tagged him as a suspect of the “pipeline bombings” at Centennial Park during the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.
Jewell was the first person to find the dubious backpack with bombs in the stadium premises. He immediately pressed the alarm and played a crucial role in evacuating the park as soon as possible. Nevertheless, the bomb went off and injured a couple of people. Soon, the media hailed Jewell as a national hero who saved hundreds of lives.
But Jewell’s popularity turned on its head when the same media outlets presented him as a possible suspect of the blasts. When the FBI searched his place, he transformed into a symbol of hatred and a defector. He was also fell victim to a number of offensive memes and body shaming comments on late-night TV shows. Jewell denied the charges throughout the ordeal of media frenzy and investigation procedures. He was set free after 88 days. But he couldn’t return to a normal life after the traumatic events. Though Jewell tried to restart his life from scratch with a job as a cop, he died of a heart attack at the age of 44.
Billy Ray adapted the screenplay for the movie based on the 1997 Vanity Fair article by Marie Brenner. Wilde reportedly plays the role of the real-life reporter Kathy Scruggs, who covered the “pipeline bombings” and Jewell’s ordeal closely. Hamm portrays the character of an FBI agent who leads the investigation and questioning procedures of Jewell.
Eastwood previously set the long-gestating project at Fox. But the Disney, Fox merger derailed the plans and the project moved to Warner Bros because the director and the production house enjoy a long partnership. Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio were attached to the project as Jewell and his attorney respectively at the early stages of development. But both the actors currently serve only as executive producers of the movie alongside Tim Moore, Jessica Meier, Eastwood, and DiCaprio’s producing partners Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Kevin Misher.
Cover Image Courtesy: Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films (A Vigilante).