Clint Eastwood‘s Richard Jewell movie cast continues to take shape. The two leads – Paul Walter Hauser and Sam Rockwell – were added in quick succession. Now, Olivia Wilde and Jon Hamm have jumped into the mix as well. Wilde will play a reporter, while Hamm will take on the role of an FBI agent. The film is based on the true story of the security guard who was wrongfully accused of planting a bomb at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Variety broke the news about Olivia Wilde and Jon Hamm joining the Richard Jewell cast. The latest from Clint Eastwood tracks the true story of Richard Jewell (Paul Walter Hauser), a security guard at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics who discovered a pipe bomb in a duffel bag. Jewell managed to clear the area, but the bomb eventually went off, resulting in two deaths and 111 injuries. Despite Jewell’s quick thinking saving lives, he went from hero to villain in the blink of an eye when the FBI accused him of planting the bomb himself. It would be another 88 days before Jewell’s name was cleared – a man named Eric Rudolph was later discovered to be the real bomber. However, by the time Jewell was exonerated, his reputation was already destroyed by both law enforcement and an overzealous media.
“You don’t get back what you were originally,” Jewell said after his name was cleared. “I don’t think I will ever get that back. The first three days, I was supposedly their hero—the person who saves lives. They don’t refer to me that way anymore. Now I am the Olympic Park bombing suspect. That’s the guy they thought did it.” Jewell died in 2007 from heart failure at the age of 44.
Eastwood is directing and producing the film, with a script by Captain Phillips and Shattered Glass writer Billy Ray. Sam Rockwell will play Jewell’s lawyer Watson Bryant, while Kathy Bates will play Jewell’s mother. As for the new cast members, Wilde will play “real-life reporter Kathy Scruggs, who covered the event as it unfolded”, while Hamm is going to portray “an FBI agent investigating the bombing.” Seeing as the majority of the FBI agents and reporters involved come off as looking very bad in the source material – the Vanity Fair story American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell by Marie Brenner – there’s a good chance Wilde and Hamm’s characters won’t be the most likable individuals on screen.
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