Clint Eastwood to Shoot ‘Richard Jewell’ in Georgia Despite Boycott Over Anti-Abortion Law

Warner Bros. film starring Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates and Paul Walter Hauser is set at 1996 Atlanta Olympics

Last Updated: June 26, 2019 @ 2:55 PM

Clint Eastwood’s next film “Richard Jewell” is listed among the Georgia Film Commission’s projects shooting in the state this summer — despite the calls for a production boycott in Georgia over the state’s new anti-abortion “heartbeat” law.

Local news outlets, including WXIA in Atlanta noted that the film is set to begin shooting in Georgia this summer. A representative from the Georgia Film Commission told TheWrap that the film is projected to shoot in the state but had no additional details.

“We have made the decision to tell this compelling story — based on real people and events — in the locations where it actually took place, which is in and around Atlanta. As is always the case, we worked closely with our production partners to determine how and where to shoot this film, in order to best reflect authenticity in the storytelling,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a statement.

The Georgia Film Commission had no comment.

Previously titled “The Ballad of Richard Jewell,” the film tells the true 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. Paul Walter Hauser plays Jewell. The cast also includes Sam Rockwell, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde and Kathy Bates.

Eastwood circled the project for years when it was previously at Fox, with Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio at one point attached to star as the two leads. Warner Bros. picked “Richard Jewell” up in May, and location scouting, including at Centennial Park, began well before the anti-abortion bill was signed into law.

The state has come under fire from many in Hollywood since Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp last month signed a new law designed to prevent abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which could be as early as six weeks into pregnancy. The law will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020, unless it is blocked in the courts. Legal challenges are underway.

The law has sparked numerous Hollywood producers and companies to either say they would boycott the state entirely or that they would donate proceeds of their shooting fees to charities and activist groups fighting the bill. WarnerMedia said in a statement at the end of May that the company would “reconsider” filming in Georgia if the law were to go into effect.

“We operate and produce work in many states and within several countries at any given time and while that doesn’t mean we agree with every position taken by a state or country and their leaders, we do respect due process,” the company said in a statement. “We will watch the situation closely and if the new law holds we will reconsider Georgia as the home to any new productions. As is always the case, we will work closely with our production partners and talent to determine how and where to shoot any given project.”

Other Warner Bros. and WarnerMedia projects currently filming in the state include “The Conjuring 3” and the HBO projects “The Outsider” and “Lovecraft Country.”

“Lovecraft Country” is produced by Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and J.J. Abrams’s Bad Robot, and the two producers were among the first to speak out against the Heartbeat Bill, pledging to donate “100% of our respective episodic fees” to the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia.

“Governor Kemp’s ‘Fetal Heartbeat’ Abortion Law is an unconstitutional effort to further restrict women and their health providers from making private medical decisions on their terms,” the producers said at the time. “Make no mistake, this is an attack aimed squarely and purposely at women. We stand with Stacey Abrams and the hardworking people of Georgia, and will donate 100% of our respective episodic fees for this season to two organizations leading the charge against this draconian law: the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia. We encourage those who are able to funnel any and all resources to these organizations.”

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