Sam Rockwell in The Best of Enemies

STX Films



The upcoming biopic "The Ballad of Richard Jewell" appears to have found one of its stars.

Academy Award winner Sam Rockwell is in final talks for a starring role, according to Variety sources. Rockwell will reportedly play a defense attorney for the title character.

"The Ballad of Richard Jewell" is a biopic that will be directed by Clint Eastwood. It tells the story of Jewell, a security guard who tipped off the police about a suspicious backpack during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He was first hailed as a hero for saving hundreds of lives, but then a report in the media named him as a possible suspect in the bombings. He was ultimately cleared but never recovered from the experience. The script is being penned by Billy Ray, based on a Vanity Fair article by Marie Brenner.

Rockwell's character will work for Jewell after he becomes a suspect. Leonardo DiCaprio was previously attached for Rockwell's role, with Jonah Hill playing Jewell. The two actors have since moved on, but they'll still produce.

Rockwell is a two-time Oscar nominee. He won in 2017 for his role in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" and was nominated again in 2018 for "Vice." More recently, he starred in the film "The Best of Enemies" and the TV miniseries "Fosse/Verdon."

Eastwood is also producing "The Ballad of Richard Jewell," as are Tim Moore, Jessica Meier, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, and Kevin Misher. Warner Bros. Studios acquired the rights for the film in May.

[via: Variety]