Paul Walter Hauser of 'I, Tonya' and 'BlacKkKlansman' fame will be playing the lead role of Richard Jewell in Clint Eastwood's latest film, 'Richard Jewell'. Hauser joins Sam Rockwell, who plays Jewell’s lawyer, defending the security guard against allegations that he planted a bomb at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Jonah Hill was originally to play Jewell back when Ezra Edelman ('OJ: Made in America') was attached to direct, and Leonardo DiCaprio was to have played his defense attorney. Later, the two actors decided to produce alongside Eastwood.
'Richard Jewell' is a drama based on Marie Brenner’s article in the Vanity Fair chronicling the story of Jewell, a real-life security guard at the Centennial Park during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, when he noticed a suspicious bag in the vicinity. Jewell, who realized that the bag contained explosives, evacuated the place, but was falsely accused after law enforcement leaked to the media that Jewell was a possible suspect for the pipe-bombing.
Jewell's life turned upside down as he immediately went from being the hero who saved hundreds of lives to the most hated man in the country. Jewell maintained his innocence throughout and was finally cleared by the FBI 88 days later, permanently damaging his health and reputation.
Billy Ray is writing the script with Eastwood directing and producing through his Malpaso production banner. The film was originally set up at Fox, but following the Disney-Fox merger, it migrated to Eastwood’s longtime home at Warner Bros.
Apart from 'I, Tonya' and 'BlacKkKlansman', Hauser also appeared in Mindy Kaling’s 'Late Night' and currently appears on YouTube’s streaming hit 'Cobra Kai'. There is no release date given for 'Richard Jewell' yet.