Clint Eastwood is reportedly in talks to helm The Ballad of Richard Jewell for Disney. The project had been in development at Fox and it looks like it may be one of the movies Disney intends on making. The studio just squashed Mouse Guard, which was also in development at Fox before the acquisition, two weeks before production was expected to start, putting the cast and crew out of work. With that being said, Mouse Guard is now being shopped to other studios.
This isn’t the first time Clint Eastwood’s name has been attached to The Ballad of Richard Jewell. He previously showed interest to direct back when the movie was still at Fox and it seems he will take it on with Disney if all goes well. Jonah Hill was at one time attached to play Jewell, while Leonardo DiCaprio was going to play the character’s lawyer and family friend. It isn’t clear who will star in the movie now, which was written by Billy Ray (Captain Phillips). The movie is based on a Vanity Fair article of the same name.
Richard Jewell was a security guard who found a suspicious package on the grounds of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The package ended up being a bomb and Jewell saved the lives of many people by locating it and getting it to authorities in a timely manner. However, after the events, Jewell was looked at as a possible suspect and the news ended up becoming public. Jewell’s life was turned upside down and even though he was proven to be innocent, his life continued a downward spiral. He eventually died of heart failure a few years later at the age of 44.
Taking on The Ballad of Richard Jewell seems like a project tailor-made for Clint Eastwood. The director has been into making movies about real-life people as of late. Sully, 15:17 to Paris, American Sniper, and The Mule are all based on real people. The Richard Jewell story is certainly worthy of a big screen adaptation and is fitting in today’s fake news culture and how it only takes one little thing to derail and ruin someone’s life even if they are proven to be innocent.
The Ballad of Richard Jewell is expected to begin production this summer with an eye on an early 2020 release date. With that being said, there is a lot of work to be done before production begins, which includes casting. If the project intends to start in a few months, we should get a Clint Eastwood confirmation along with a casting update in the next few months. With that being said, this movie has been close to being made before and it has yet to come into fruition. Maybe Disney and Eastwood will be the right combo to get it started this time. The Ballad of Richard Jewell news was first reported by Deadline.