Jonah Hill hasn’t stepped away from the world of raunchy comedy, but recently he’s been focusing more on high-minded and/or auteur fare – like the crime/drama True Story (releasing this year) and Coen Brothers’ Hollywood satire Hail, Caesar! (which arrives next year). Meanwhile, Hill’s Wolf of Wall Street costar Leonardo DiCaprio is gunning for another Oscar nod with his role in true story-inspired historical survival tale The Revenant, releasing in December from Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Hill and DiCaprio may soon be reuniting for a movie about the aftermath of the 1996 Olympics bombing, with none other than Clint Eastwood calling the shots on the film. Paul Greengrass previously seemed all but set to serve as the movie’s helmsman, drawing from a script – based on Vanity Fair’s 1997 article “American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell” – by his Captain Phillips screenwriter Billy Ray.
Deadline is reporting that Eastwood is now “seriously circling” the Olympic bombing drama, as Greengrass is currently preparing to direct Bourne 5 (based on a script he’s co-writing with star Matt Damon) for a Summer 2016 release. The project also attracted interested from David O. Russell at one point, before the filmmaker moved ahead with another biographical feature in Joy – his latest collaboration with Jennifer Lawrence.
The main sticking point right now is that the Olympics bombing drama is setup at 20th Century Fox. Eastwood usually works for Warner Bros., so WB and Fox are exploring the option of serving as co-production partners on the film. Hill and DiCaprio, for their part, are pretty much already locks – having wanted to work together again since they shared the screen in Wolf of Wall Street. Combine that with Eastwood directing Ray’s script and this sounds like an Oscar bait offering that might be too tempting for a studio (or, rather, studios) to pass up.
Hill in onboard to play Richard Jewell: the security guard who uncovered the bomb at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, only to be publicly demonized thereafter – after being accused of planting the bomb himself. DiCaprio is up to play Jewell’s friend, a lawyer who managed to help Jewell out with his situation, even though his true speciality was real estate. Jewell’s story could make for compelling social commentary (and character study) onscreen, given the acting talent lined up to bring it to life.
Eastwood’s recent biopics have tended to be solid, if stale – like his collaboration with DiCaprio on J. Edgar. Then again, he’s fresh off directing an extremely lucrative, but divisive, biopic in American Sniper – a film that, if nothing else, has gotten a reaction with its portrayal of the tumultuous experiences of a real-life figure. Either way, the tale of Jewell is an intriguing (and relevant) one worth exploring in cinematic form, so fingers crossed this project comes together sooner than later.
The (for now) untitled Olympics bombing drama is currently without a release date. We’ll let you know when that changes.