Fresh from their The Wolff Of Wall Street success, Leonardo diCaprio and Jonah Hill will once again team up in a movie about Atlanta Olympics falsely accused bomber Richard Jewell.
Deadline reports that Fox has acquired the rights to Marie Brenner’s 1997 Vanity Fair article “American Nightmare: The Ballad Of Richard Jewell”, which will be developed for Hill to play the lead character.
The pair are also working on a TV series based on the life of rapper Q-Tip and must have really enjoyed working together in the Oscar nominated Martin Scorcese film.
You may remember the case of Richard Jewell, a security guard who discovered a backpack at the Olympics compound Centennial Park in Atlanta in 1996.
Initially considered a hero for reporting the suspicious bag and saving hundreds by helping to clear bystanders from the area before it exploded, Jewell was vilified in the national media just three days later as he was declared a potential suspect, his life and reputation destroyed in the 24/7 news cycle.
Leonardo diCaprio will play an acquaintance of Jewell’s — a lawyer — who guided him through the hell that the media had put him through, even after the FBI cleared his name three months later.
This case grabbed national attention, not only because it involved explosives at the Olympics Games held in the US, but for the ruthless treatment an innocent man received in the media.
NBC veteran anchor Tom Brokaw reported the FBI probably had enough evidence to arrest and charge Jewell and Jay Leno used the disgraced man as a punching line relentlessly. CNN reported sightings of the man with a bomb before the explosion.
Jewell — a former Sheriff’s deputy — was ridiculed further when it was discovered that at 34-years-old he still lived with his mother, who was traumatized by what she saw on national television on a daily basis and by the 10,000 plus reporters that converged on their home after a piece in the Atlanta Journal Constitution declared that he fit the profile of a bomber.
Leonardo diCaprio is nominated for an Oscar for his performance in The Wolff of Wall Street, which has also received several other nominations including Best Picture and Best Screenplay.
Richard Jewell was eventually exonerated of all charges and later filed lawsuits against a number of media outlets. He died in 2007 at 44-years of age. An anti-government activist later confessed to planting the bomb.
With Leonardo diCaprio and Jonah Hill attached to the project, we can expect more headlines to come in one of the worst examples of trial by media the US has ever seen.