Mad Men's Jon Hamm and TRON: Legacy's Olivia Wilde have joined the cast of Clint Eastwood's The Ballad Of Richard Jewell. Set to be the 38th film of Eastwood's illustrious directorial career, Richard Jewell will tell the real life story of the security guard who discovered a pipe bomb at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA and saved lives due to his quick action before the bomb exploded, but was later accused of planting the bomb himself. Only after an FBI investigation was Jewell exonerated, though his reputation was permanently harmed thanks to the original allegation.
In 1997, Vanity Fair published an article on Jewell called "American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewel," which was later picked up by 20th Century Fox with Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio originally set to star in the movie adaptation. Eastwood was announced as the project's director in April, and casting quickly ramped up, with Oscar-winner Sam Rockwell climbing aboard in the role of Jewell's attorney. Jewell himself will be played by Paul Walter Hauser, a relative unknown who appeared last year in Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, and also has a key role in the YouTube series Cobra Kai as Raymond, the weird older guy who likes hanging out with teenagers.
As reported by Deadline, Richard Jewell has now added two more cast members in Jon Hamm and Olivia Wilde. Hamm will reportedly play an FBI agent, while Wilde tackles the role of Kathy Scruggs, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter who covered the 1996 bombing.
This marks the second time Hamm has worked with Eastwood after previously doing a small role in the director's 2000 film Space Cowboys. Most recently, Hamm appeared in the Amazon series Good Omens as the archangel Gabriel. He will next be seen alongside Adam Driver in the drama The Report, and has also snagged a role opposite Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick. Hamm is of course best known for playing the carousing, womanizing ad man Don Draper on AMC's acclaimed series Mad Men, a role for which he won a pair of Golden Globes and an Emmy.
Wilde meanwhile has branched out from acting, making her feature film directorial debut in 2019 with the well-received teen comedy Booksmart. On the acting side, Wilde was last seen in the 2018 thriller The Vigilante, as well as the 2018 romantic drama Life Itself. Wilde's resume also includes 81 episodes of the FOX drama House as Dr. Remy "Thirteen" Hadley, as well as the 2010 sci-fi movie TRON: Legacy.
Given Eastwood's legendary status as a director, it's not surprising to see his latest movie attracting big time talent like Hamm and Wilde, not to mention Rockwell. That being said, Eastwood's recent output has been rather variable at least according to critics, so it remains to be seen if The Ballad of Richard Jewell will take its place as a satisfying Eastwood film, or a disappointing one.