Variety has the scoop that both Jon Hamm and Olivia Wilde have signed on for roles in "Richard Jewell" (previously titled "The Ballad of Richard Jewell"), based on the story of the titular security guard who discovered a bomb at Atlanta's Centennial Park during the 1996 Olympics, and had his life destroyed as a result of a botched investigation. The film is adapted from writer Marie Brenner’s Vanity Fair article chronicling the case, with a script by Billy Ray ("The Hunger Games," "Captain Phillips").
Paul Walter Hauser ("Late Night," "I, Tonya") is playing Jewell, with Kathy Bates set to play his mother, and Sam Rockwell playing his attorney. According to Variety, Hamm will portray an FBI agent who investigated the attempted bombing, while Wilde will play Kathy Scruggs, a real-life local reporter who covered the case from the beginning.
Jewell's story is a tragic one. Initially praised for discovering the bomb and saving hundreds of lives, authorities then pointed the finger at the security guard, accusing him of planting the device so that he could discover it himself, and look like a hero. Law enforcement leaked his alleged involvement to the press, and he was painted as a villain by the media and the public.
Jewell was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing, but his reputation and health never recovered. He died a few years later, at age 44.
Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio -- who had initially signed on to play Jewell and his attorney, respectively, before exiting the project due to scheduling conflicts -- will serve as producers. No word yet on a production start date.