Clint Eastwood’s ‘Richard Jewell’ to Premiere at AFI Fest

Film follows the real-life story of a security guard falsely accused of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing

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"Richard Jewell" / Warner Bros.

Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell” will premiere at the 2019 AFI Fest in November, the American Film Institute announced on Tuesday.

“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. It will premiere on Nov. 20 at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

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 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.

“Clint Eastwood is an American icon,” Bob Gazzale, AFI president and CEO, said in a statement “It is an honor for AFI to premiere this next chapter in his storied career – one that continues to enrich the nation’s cultural legacy with undeniable impact.”

“Richard Jewell” will be released in theaters on Dec. 13. The 2019 AFI Fest will take place Nov. 13 to No . 21 with Melina Matsoukas’ “Queen & Slim” opening the festival and George Nolfi’s “The Banker” closing. The full lineup will be released later this month.