“The Wolf of Wall Street” stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill are reportedly headed back to the big screen together, this time in an adaptation of the 1997 Vanity Fair article “The Ballad of Richard Jewell,” about the man falsely accused of being the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bomber.
According to Deadline Hollywood, Fox has acquired the rights to Marie Brenner’s article and will develop it for Hill to portray Jewell, a security guard who was initially hailed as a hero after discovering a backpack bomb and helping to evacuate bystanders.
The bomb exploded, killing one person and injuring more than 100. Days later, Jewell’s named was leaked to to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a suspect in the bombing, and his life was subsequently torn apart amid the emerging world of the 24-hour news cycle.
Jewell’s name was cleared months later and the bomber was apprehended in 2003, but for many people the vilification of Jewell was symptomatic of a media culture that had become too quick to judge.
According to the Deadline report, DiCaprio will play a Southern attorney whom Jewell knew casually and who helped to guide him through the aftermath of the bombing.
News of the film comes as DiCaprio and Hill are contending for Academy Awards for their roles in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” DiCaprio plays shady stockbroker Jordan Belfort, and Hill plays his partner in crime Donnie Azoff.
Hill, best known for his comedy work in films such as “Superbad” and “21 Jump Street,” has received fine notices for his dramatic work in “Wolf” as well as his Oscar-nominated supporting turn in “Moneyball.”
If he can continue his hot streak, he should be able to command a raise from the SAG minimum $60,000 he made for “The Wolf of Wall Street.”