'Kill the Messenger' Trailer: Jeremy Renner Takes On the CIA

Jeremy Renner in Kill the Messenger

Jeremy Renner is slated to reprise his Bourne Legacy role - as former CIA black ops agent-turned rogue operative, Aaron Cross - in the currently-untitled fifth Bourne franchise installment (a.k.a. Bourne 5). However, before he does, he'll battle the CIA in a very different sort of film: Kill the Messenger, the upcoming drama about real-life journalist Gary Webb's investigation into links between the Reagan-era CIA, the Contra rebels in Nicaragua, and the smuggling of cocaine into the U.S. that contributed to the crack cocaine epidemic during the 1980s.

The newly-released Kill the Messenger trailer paints a short and sweet portrait of the film's narrative - namely, Webb uncovering what appears to be a vast conspiracy, which results in Renner's protagonist becoming the target of the powers that be, who would prefer to keep said skeletons tucked away in their closet.

Webb's articles for the San Jose Mercury News - published in 1999 as the book "Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion" - have long been controversial; not just because of Webb's unnerving assertions, but also because even some of those who were closer to him have questioned his accuracy in reporting - and whether or not Webb is really someone who should be considered "heroic." Then again, Webb asserted that his co-workers and editors were often not supportive and unable to process his findings rationally - so it kind of depends on who's telling the story.

Jeremy Renner in Kill the Messenger
Jeremy Renner as Gary Webb in 'Kill the Messenger'

Kill the Messenger director Michael Cuesta helped to paint a complicated portrait of the CIA during his time as an executive producer and director on Showtime's Homeland (he's also worked on TV shows like Elementary and Dexter), so hopefully he'll manage to do as much here - rather than simplify Webb's story to a basic good journalist vs. bad government drama, which is what the trailer seems to point to. The film's script was penned by Peter Landesman (Parkland) - which, for me personally, isn't such an encouraging sign.

Rounding out the Kill the Messenger cast are such folk as Rosemarie DeWitt (Promised Land), Oliver Platt (Chef), Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (The Spectacular Now), Robert Patrick (Gangster Squad), Tim Blake Nelson (Lincoln), Paz Vega (I'm So Excited!), Andy Garcia (Open Road), Ray Liotta (Muppets Most Wanted), and Michael Kenneth Williams (Boardwalk Empire).


Kill the Messenger opens in U.S. theaters on October 10th, 2014.

Source: Focus Features

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