Word has reached the masses that Clint Eastwood is circling a directing gig for THE BALLAD OF RICHARD JEWELL, an upcoming drama from Fox/Disney. Come to think of it, are we expected to get a proper name for this union, now that the deal is signed, sealed and delivered? It sure would be nice to not have to straddle both names when delivering the news. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.
According to Deadline, who exclusively broke the news about the prospect of Eastwood’s next gig, says that the drama is “based on the life of a security guard whose life was turned upside down in a moment after it was leaked by law enforcement to a reporter that Jewell was a possible suspect in the Olympic Park bombing during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. From the moment he was outed by an article written by an overzealous reporter at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Jewell went from hero to one of the most hated men in America.”
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS scribe Billy Ray is in charge of the script, which will hopefully set the record straight about Jewell’s involvement in the Atlanta Olympic Park incident. You see, it was Jewell who’d found the backpack that afternoon, which contained an explosive device. He’d saved lives that day, but after being falsely accused of planting the device, Jewell’s reputation was sullied in the eyes of the public. At one point in the project’s development, both Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio were contemplating the role of Jewell’s lawyer who went to bat for him when shit got real. Sadly, Jewell’s reputation never recovered, not even after he became a police officer as part of an effort to better serve the very people who pointed their crooked fingers in his direction. Jewell then died of a heart attack in 2007. He was only 44-years-old.
DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Hill and Kevin Misher will produce via Appian Way, with Andy Berman also producing. For the moment, the plan is to start shooting in the summer, though no stars have been assigned to star in the project thus far.