Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill must have enjoyed working together on The Wolf Of Wall Street – with their Oscar nominations the icing on the cake – as Deadline reports that they are reuniting for a movie about 1996 Olympic bombing hero Richard Jewell.
20th Century Fox is backing the film, which will be based on the 1997 Vanity Fair article, ‘The Ballad Of Richard Jewell’, by Marie Brenner. Hill will play Jewell, while DiCaprio will be a Southern lawyer who helped guide the security guard through a hellish ordeal at a time when he should have been lauded.
On July 27, 1996, Jewell was working as a security guard at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Around 1am he noticed an unattended green backpack and alerted police to the situation while helping to clear the area. The bag contained a pipe bomb, which exploded killing one person and injuring 111 others.
Initially he was praised as a hero, with many suggesting his actions had ensured the death toll wasn’t much great. However a few days later the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a story that revealed that the FBI considered him a suspect. It suggested that he fit the profile of the bomber and his actions were just a smokescreen deliberately designed to make him look like a hero.
He immediately became a pariah, with more than 10,000 reporters camped outside the small apartment he shared with his mother. Eventually he was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing, but he wasn’t officially exonerated by the FBI until October of 1996 (many have said they knew much earlier he wasn’t involved but were embarrassed to announce they’d got it wrong). By then his life and reputation were ruined. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 44 from natural causes.
DiCaprio will produce the movie through his Appian Way production company.