Clint Eastwood is back to crash the awards-season party with his next movie, “Richard Jewell,” which has just been stamped with a December 13 release date from Warner Bros. (Deadline has the full scoop.)
“Richard Jewell” will follow a similar pattern to last year’s “The Mule,” also a late-breaking mid-December film from Eastwood and Warner Bros. — and it made bank worldwide, racking up $173 million at the global box office. And like “The Mule,” as well as Eastwood’s other recent films such as the Tom Hanks starrer “Sully,” terrorist-attack drama “The 15:17 to Paris,” and the Best Picture Oscar nominee “American Sniper,” “Richard Jewell” centers on the true story of a good man trying to do good things, who is nonetheless unjustly vilified.
“Richard Jewell” stars Paul Walter Hauser — of “I, Tonya” and “BlacKkKlansman” — as a security guard who heroically rescued thousands of lives from an exploding bomb at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. However, Jewell weathered accusations of being a terrorist by the media after law enforcement leaked false intel accusing him of being the suspect, which took a great toll on his life. Jewell died from complications of diabetes in 2007.
The screenplay is penned by Academy Award nominee Billy Ray (“Captain Phillips”) from the February 1997 Vanity Fair piece “American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell” by Marie Brenner. The cast also includes Olivia Wilde (a 2019 awards-season contender for directing summer sleeper “Booksmart”) and Sam Rockwell (recent Primetime Emmy loser for his performance in “Fosse/Verdon”), plus Jon Hamm, Nina Arianda, and Kathy Bates.
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The project was announced as early as February 2014, back when Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill were attached. “Captain Phillips” director Paul Greengrass was at one point set to direct, as was “O.J.: Made in America” director Ezra Edelman, before the project landed on Eastwood’s desk.
Filming began in late June in Atlanta. But Eastwood is no stranger to a quick turnaround. “The Mule” similarly began production in June of 2018, before releasing in mid-December of that same year.
Eastwood’s “American Sniper” popped as a secret screening at AFI FEST in 2014. Will “Richard Jewell” follow?
IndieWire has reached out to Warner Bros. Pictures for comment.