The Wolf of Wall Street stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill are set to reteam for another project which will be based on Marie Brenner’s 1997 Vanity Fair article The Ballad Of Richard Jewell.
Hill will play Jewell, who was the security guard who discovered a backpack full of explosives in the Olympics compound at the 1996 Atlanta games. "Initially hailed a hero for reporting the suspicious knapsack and then helping clear bystanders from the area before it exploded, Jewell was subsequently vilified just three days later as a potential suspect, his life and reputation torn apart in the advent of the 24 hour news cycle."
According to Deadline, Leonardo DiCaprio will play a lawyer that Jewell knew casually, "a Southern attorney who mostly did real estate closings and seemed in over his head, but he guided Jewell through a hellish Twilight Zone that went on even after the FBI officially cleared Jewell’s name three months later."
DiCaprio and Hill were incredible in The Wolf of Wall Street, and this sounds like another amazing project for them to take on together. This is another film that could eventually lead to a bunch of awards. I think there's potential for this to be one of Hill's greatest roles.
Here are some more details about what actually went down in this story from the report:
This is more a cautionary tale about how a media rush to judgment, based on law enforcement leaks and rumors, can trample the rights of individuals before the facts are even in. Jewell’s move from hero to a potential bomber looking for attention happened in an alarmingly short span before, in his words, the FBI and journalists were on him “like piranha on a bleeding cow.” Based on the flimsiest evidence and the FBI’s zeal to corral a suspect, Jewell, a former sheriff’s deputy who earlier that year moved in with his mother to care for her during a health crisis, and took a security job because he thought it would be strong resume material as he tried to become a cop, was suddenly depicted as a 34-year-old loser who lived with his mother.
After the Atlanta Journal Constitutionboldly wrote a front-page story that flatly said Jewell fit the profile of a lone bomber, 10,000 reporters decamped outside their small apartment, which the FBI tore apart looking for evidence, taking hair samples and fingerprints. Jewell’s mother was particularly traumatized, particularly when her favorite newsman, Tom Brokaw, came on NBC and reported the feds probably had enough to arrest and charge her son, but perhaps not enough to convict him yet. Jay Leno turned Jewell into a nightly running joke on The Tonight Show, ridiculing him for his weight and other matters. It was an ugly chapter for journalism, with bogus reporting that included the assertion on CNN that Jewell was seen before the explosion with a homemade bomb. Lawsuits were filed and settled with several news outlets. Jewell died in 2007 at age 44, and at least in his obits, he was called a hero. An anti-government militant later confessed to the crime.