The film stars Paul Walter Hauser as the real-life security guard whose life turned chaotic after he was listed as a possible suspect in the Olympic Park bombing during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics after having discovered a suspicious abandoned backpack. 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. Jewell was never charged and died in 2007.
Sam Rockwell plays Jewell’s lawyer. Kathy Bates, Olivia Wilde and Jon Hamm also star. Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio had originally been attached to star (DiCaprio was originally on board to play Rockwell’s role), but are not in the movie, instead remaining on as producers. Billy Ray is writing the script.
Eastwood is directing and producing through his Malpaso production banner. Tim Moore, Jessica Meier, and DiCaprio’s partners Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Kevin Misher are also producing. The pic was originally set up at Fox, but landed at Warner Bros. after the Disney-Fox merger.
Eastwood has won four Academy Awards — two for directing and producing “Million Dollar Baby” and two for directing and producing “Unforgiven.”