Paul Walter Hauser is set to star as the titular Jewell in Warner Bros.’ pic alongside Sam Rockwell as Jewell’s attorney and Kathy Bates as Jewell’s mother.
The drama is based on Marie Brenner’s article in Vanity Fair chronicling the story of Jewell, a real-life security guard whose world was turned upside down after law enforcement leaked to an overzealous reporter that Jewell was a possible suspect for the pipe-bombing at Centennial Park during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
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.
As law enforcement asserted Jewell planted the bomb himself and then “found” it to earn praise, 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. Jewell went on to become a police officer, but died of heart failure a few years later at the age of 44.
Jonah Hill and DiCaprio had originally been attached to star (DiCaprio was originally on board to play Rockwell’s role), but they will no longer appear in the movie, instead remaining on as producers. Billy Ray is writing the script.
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Eastwood is directing and producing through his Malpaso production banner. Tim Moore, Jessica Meier, Kevin Misher and DiCaprio’s partner Jennifer Davisson Killoran are also producing.
The pic was originally set up at Fox, but landed at Warner Bros. after the Disney-Fox merger.
Wilde, who was recently named one of Variety‘s 10 Directors to Watch, is coming off her directorial debut “Booksmart,” which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in March to rave reviews. Since opening last month, “Booksmart” has a become one of the best reviewed films of the year, earning a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Hamm can be seen in Amazon’s adaptation of “Good Omens” and will appear in Fox Searchlight’s astronaut pic “Lucy in the Sky,” which bows in the fall, alongside Natalie Portman. He also stars in “Top Gun: Maverick,” in theaters next summer.
Wilde is repped by CAA, Hamilton Hodell and Untitled Entertainment and Hamm is repped by CAA and Forward Entertainment.