The Ballad of Richard Jewell: Sam Rockwell joins Clint Eastwood drama
Variety is reporting that Oscar winner Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) is in final talks to star in The Ballad of Richard Jewel, Clint Eastwood’s upcoming biopic based on the real-life security guard. Eastwood will produce and direct through his Malpaso production banner.
Rockwell, whose credits also include Vice, Fosse/Verdon, The Best of Enemies, F Is for Family, Blaze, and the upcoming Jojo Rabbit, will play the attorney who defends Jewell after he is wrongly accused.
Based on Marie Brenner’s 1997 Vanity Fair article “American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell,” the film will tell the true story of the innocent security guard who helped save lives during the 1996 Olympic bombing in Atlanta who was later accused of plotting the attack. Eric Robert Rudolph pled guilty to the crime, along with several other bombings, in 2005.
The project has been in development for many years with Jonah Hill previously attached to play Jewell. Hill’s The Wolf of Wall Street cohort Leonardo DiCaprio previously attached to play the lawyer who aided him during the media firestorm that painted him as a terrorist. Neither actor remains attached to the film as a star, but remain attached as producers.
Following Disney’s acquisition of Fox, the studio has been clearing a lot of upcoming films from its slates that it doesn’t deem primed for box office-smashing, but rather than cancel the Jewell project, the House of Mouse began discussions with Warner Bros. to send the film their way. Warner Bros. has been almost the exclusive home to Eastwood’s filmography as both an actor and a director.
The film will also be produced by DiCaprio, Hill, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, and Kevin Misher, with Eastwood hoping to begin shooting this summer from the script written by.
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