Clint Eastwood has added a trio of actors to his upcoming film Richard Jewell (formerly known as The Ballad of Richard Jewell). Olivia Wilde, Jon Hamm, and Kathy Bates have joined previously cast Paul Walter Hauser and Sam Rockwell.
Wilde will play real-life reporter Kathy Scruggs, who covered the event as it unfolded, and Hamm will play an FBI agent investigating the bombing. Bates will play Jewell’s mother.
Billy Ray wrote the script for the film, which adapts the Vanity Fair story by Marie Brenner. The project has been in development for a few years, and was once set to be a Wolf of Wall Street reunion with Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio playing Jewell and his attorney. Both remain attached as producers.
The film is set to cover the following events:
Jewell was working as a security guard at the 1996 Summer Games when he discovered a backpack containing pipe bombs and subsequently sounded the alarm and helped to clear the area. However, the bomb did detonate, killing one person and injuring dozens of others.
Law enforcement asserted Jewell planted the bomb himself and then “found” it to make himself a hero, the city reopened the park and attempted to calm a terrified public while the real lone wolf perpetrator remained at large. Jewell maintained his innocence throughout and was finally fully cleared by the FBI 88 days later, though his reputation was never restored and his health forever damaged. While Jewell eventually became a police officer, he died of heart failure a few years later at the age of 44.
Eastwood is always able to round up a stellar cast for all his biopics, and Richard Jewell is turning out to be no exception. Let’s hope the finished project ends up being more American Sniper than The 15:17 to Paris.
We’ll keep you updated as more casting gets announced. What do you think of the cast so far?