Jonah Hill is attached to portray 1996 Olympic bombing suspect Richard Jewell in a biopic for 20th Century Fox with “O.J.: Made in America” director Ezra Edelman now on board, TheWrap has learned.
Hill will also be producing the project, titled Called “The Ballad of Richard Jewell,” along with his “Wolf of Wall Street” co-star Leonardo DiCaprio.
This is the first feature film by Edelman, whose body of work has revolved mostly around documentaries up until now.
The movie will focus on Jewell, the security guard who found himself at the center of the story following the Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Ultimately, Jewell was found to be falsely accused.
Fox acquired movie rights to Marie Brenner’s 1997 Vanity Fair article “The Ballad of Richard Jewell,” an individual familiar with the project previously told TheWrap.
The project has been developed as a starring vehicle for Hill as Jewell, while DiCaprio is also attached to co-star as a Southern attorney who guided the defamed security guard through his high-profile legal proceedings, which ended with the FBI clearing Jewell’s name three months after the bombing.
Jewell discovered a suspicious backpack left behind in the Olympics compound in Atlanta in 1996 and helped clear potential victims from the area. He subsequently became the prime suspect as the media vilified him before all the evidence came to light.
DiCaprio will produce via his Appian Way banner along with Jennifer Davisson Killoran, as well as Hill and Kevin Misher of Misher Films, whose Andy Berman will also have a producing role.
Brenner’s work at Vanity Fair has been optioned for film before, as she also wrote the source material that became Michael Mann‘s “The Insider.”
After making his name as a comedic actor, Hill has been showing off his dramatic chops in films such as “Moneyball” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” both of which earned him Oscar nominations.
He also starred as disgraced journalist Michael Finkel in Fox and New Regency’s “True Story,” which co-starred James Franco as a suspected killer.
Edelman is represented by CAA.