Paul Walter Hauser has landed the title role in Clint Eastwood’s Warner Bros. movie Richard Jewell.
Hauser will play the security guard whose life was turned upside down 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. Sam Rockwell was announced as Jewell’s lawyer earlier this week.
Jewell is a role that graduates Hauser from supporting actor to leading man after notable parts in Mindy Kaling’s Amazon Studios movie Late Night (currently in theaters, going wide this weekend), Spike Lee’s Oscar-winning BlackKklansman last year and as I, Tonya‘s dim Shawn Eckardt who was an accomplice in injuring Tonya Harding’s rival Nancy Kerrigan.
The new film centers on Jewell, who discovered a suspicious backpack in the Olympics compound, cleared the area and saved lives that day, but after he was falsely accused he became a pariah. Even though the FBI cleared Jewell as a suspect three months later, the true American hero never fully got his reputation back or his confidence in himself, and his health was forever damaged. Jewell, who later became a police officer, died in 2007 of a heart attack at age 44.
Originally the project was at Disney-Fox before it was moved to the Warner Bros. home of Eastwood’s Malpaso Productions. Billy Ray wrote the screenplay for Richard Jewell, producers are Tim Moore, Jessica Meier, Kevin Misher, Jonah Hill, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jennifer Davisson. Production companies are Malpaso, Misher Films, 75 Year Plan, and Appian Way.