Andy Garcia Tim Blake Nelson

Shooting has started in Atlanta

Andy Garcia, Tim Blake Nelson and Oliver Platt are rounding out the cast of Jeremy Renner’s journalism drama “Kill the Messenger,” which has launched production in Atlanta.

Michael Cuesta is directing from Peter Landesman’s script. Focus Features came on to acquire worldwide distribution rights at Berlin earlier this year.

Rosemarie DeWitt, Lucas Hedges, Robert Patrick, Barry Pepper, Michael Sheen, Paz Vega, Michael Kenneth Williams and Mary Elizabeth Winstead are also starring. Producers are Scott Stuber, Renner and Naomi Despres.

Story is based on investigative journalist Gary Webb’s stories alleging the CIA’s involvement in the spread of crack cocaine in Los Angeles. Renner came onboard last week to star and produce.

Project was set up at Universal in 2008 with Stuber producing and Landesman adapting. Webb, a reporter at the San Jose Mercury News, committed suicide in 2004 after being the target of a smear campaign when he linked the CIA to a scheme to arm Contra rebels in Nicaragua and import cocaine into California.

Webb’s three-part series “Dark Alliance” was published in 1996 and implied that the CIA was a catalyst for the crack cocaine scourge in California.

Focus will released has not set a U.S. release date for “Kill.”

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