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First Look: Jeremy Renner Blows the Whistle on a Sprawling Conspiracy in ‘Kill The Messenger’

First Look: Jeremy Renner Blows the Whistle on a Sprawling Conspiracy in 'Kill The Messenger'

Focus Features has set a release date for “Homeland” executive producer and director Michael Cuesta’s upcoming conspiracy thriller “Kill The Messenger,” starring Jeremy Renner. Based on the true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb, the film will hit select cities on October 10 before expanding on October 17, and again on the 24th. 

In the mid-1990s, Webb stumbled upon a massive coverup involving the CIA, which was allegedly using profits from the international drug trade to arm rebel fighters in Nicaragua. Webb kept digging the hole, ultimately unearthing a conspiracy that could only be described as “sprawling” — a word on all our minds after last Sunday’s conspiracy-loaded “True Detective.”

In “Kill The Messenger,” directed by Cuesta from a screenplay by Peter Landesman, Renner stars as Webb, who was a San Jose Mercury-News scribe, opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Michael Sheen, Robert Patrick, Michael K. Williams and Ray Liotta. 

It’s a juicy cast, and a great topic. But will the film go the unsuccessful way of Bill Condon’s Julian Assange thriller “The Fifth Estate,” also a Fall release last year? In spite of the growing marquee value of star Benedict Cumberbatch, that film didn’t click with audiences. 

Coming off a stellar turn in “American Hustle,” and with two Oscar noms under his belt (“The Town” and “The Hurt Locker”), Renner could be enough of a household name to deliver this film to smart audiences. We’ll see what happens on October 10.

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