EXCLUSIVE: Paul Greengrass is circling to come aboard and team with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill in the Fox film they are making about Richard Jewell, the heroic security guard who discovered a suspicious backpack in the Olympics compound during the 1996 games in Atlanta. He soon was vilified as a possible terrorist, and his good work in helping clear bystanders from the area before the bomb exploded turned into a trip to the Twilight Zone. Script is by Billy Ray, who wrote Greengrass’ Captain Phillips.
The film is based on Marie Brenner’s 1997 Vanity Fair article The Ballad Of Richard Jewell, and the plan is for Hill to play Jewell and for DiCaprio to play a Southern attorney who knew Jewell casually. The lawyer, who mostly did real estate closings, seemed over his head but guided Jewell through the demoralizing nightmare that signaled the downside of the advent of the 24-hour news cycle. The FBI finally cleared Jewell three months later. The film will be produced by Appian Way’s DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Hill and Kevin Misher, the latter of whom brought in the article. Misher Films’ Andy Berman also will have a producing role. Mike Ireland is overseeing for Fox. Hill and DiCaprio were eager to set up another project together after they had such a good time making The Wolf Of Wall Street, for which both got Oscar nominations.
I am not positive this will be made with Greengrass, but the director has an affinity for nonfiction films in which small people are beaten up by the system. He’s covered the topic in Bloody Sunday, United 93 and most recently, Captain Phillips. Greengrass is repped by CAA.