The official trailer for Richard Jewell has arrived. Despite being 89 years old, Clint Eastwood remains as busy as ever, and only just released his last movie, The Mule (which he both directed and starred in), this past December. He's since gotten behind the camera again for another true story-based drama, this time in the form of Richard Jewell. Previously known as The Ballad of Richard Jewell, the upcoming film spent about five years stuck in development before Eastwood came aboard back in April.
Paul Walter Hauser (I, Tonya) stars in the movie as Richard Jewell, the U.S. security guard who discovered a backpack filled with pipe bombs at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, and helped to evacuate the surrounding area before they exploded. However, when his name was leaked by the FBI to the press as a suspect in the bombing, Jewell went from being seen as a hero to being vilified by the public. The film only started production this past summer, but is already scheduled to arrive in December, and has even received its first trailer.
Richard Jewell marks the fifth true story-based drama in a row for Eastwood as a director, but hews closest to his 2016 offering Sully, judging by the trailer. Adapted from Marie Brenner's Vanity Fair article "American Nightmare - The Ballad of Richard Jewell" by writer Billy Ray, the movie seems to be as much about the way the FBI and media tore Jewell's life apart after the bombing as the man himself. Sully was similar in the way that it focused on the NTSB's investigation of the "Miracle on the Hudson", but was arguably guilty of vilifying the NTSB and painting its story in broad strokes. Eastwood moves so quickly through his movies these days that, unfortunately, it's easy to imagine Richard Jewell falling short in similar ways and turning what could've been a relevant and powerful docudrama into a basic melodrama that's about as impactful as yelling "Fake news!" at someone on the street.
Still, it's a strong trailer on its own, and Richard Jewell itself boasts (like so many Eastwood films) a great cast that includes Sam Rockwell as Jewell's attorney, Watson Bryant, Kathy Bates as Jewell's mom, Bobi, Jon Hamm as the lead FBI investigator, and Olivia Wilde (fresh off directing Booksmart) as Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Kathy Scruggs. It also has beautifully shadowy cinematography by Yves Bélanger (Dallas Buyers Club, Brooklyn), and Ray has delivered compelling real-life dramatic thrillers in the past like Shattered Glass and Captain Phillips. That's to say, there's reason to remain hopeful about this one.
Richard Jewell opens in U.S. theaters on Friday, December 13.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures