Clint Eastwood is officially attached to direct “The Ballad of Richard Jewell,” and Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to release the film, which was previously at Disney-Fox, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.
“The Ballad of Richard Jewell” is based on the story of a security guard who was considered a possible suspect of a bombing that took place 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, became linked as the FBI’s prime suspect in the Olympic Park bombing, completely upending his life in the process.
Eastwood has been eyeing to direct the project for some time, with Fox having acquired the movie rights back in 2014. At the time, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill were to reunite on screen, with Hill portraying Jewell and DiCaprio as the attorney who guided Jewell through the legal proceedings.
Neither DiCaprio nor Hill will appear in the film now, but both are still producers along with Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Kevin Misher, DiCaprio’s partners at Appian Way Productions.
“The Ballad of Richard Jewell” reunites Eastwood with Warner Bros. after it released his last film, “The Mule,” where Eastwood starred opposite Bradley Cooper. It grossed $171.3 million at the global box office.
Variety first reported the news of the project’s move.