Clint Eastwood may direct “The Ballad of Richard Jewell,” a look at a security guard whose life gets turned upside down after media reports identified him as a possible suspect in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing.
The film is currently set up at Disney/Fox and could reunite Eastwood with Alan Horn, the current Disney Studios chief who worked with the filmmaker when he was in charge of Warner Bros. motion picture division. Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio had originally been attached to star, but they will no longer appear in the movie. Their involvement will be limited to producing the film.
Eastwood’s involvement could change. He circled the project several years ago before opting to direct “Sully” with Tom Hanks. “O.J.: Made in America” director Ezra Edelman was last person to consider the project.
Eastwood had a box office success with last year’s drug runner drama “The Mule,” but stumbled with his other 2018 release “The 15:17 to Paris.”
DiCaprio’s business partners Jennifer Davisson Killoran, and Kevin Misher are also producing. “Captain Phillips” screenwriter Billy Ray is writing the script, which will be based on a Marie Brenner article in Vanity Fair.
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Jewell reported on the knapsack bomb at the 1996 Summer Games and helped clear bystanders — only to find himself vilified and suspected of being involved in the terrorism plot. Jewell was cleared as a suspect three months later and died in 2007 of a heart attack at the age of 44. Mike Ireland is overseeing the project for Fox.
Deadline first reported Eastwood’s potential involvement.