Deadline report Fox have closed a deal acquiring the rights for Marie Brenner’s 1997 Vanity Fair article, The Ballad of Richard Jewell, with Hill taking the lead this time around as the eponymous Jewell.
Jewell was the security guard at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics who was initially hailed a hero when he discovered a backpack in the Olympics compound, reported the suspicious knapsack, and helped to clear bystanders before it exploded.
Within just three days, however, he was transformed into a villain by the media, vilified as a potential suspect, with his life and reputation torn to shreds in the advent of the 24-hour news cycle.
DiCaprio will be playing the part of a lawyer Jewell knew casually; a Southern attorney who mostly dealt in real estate, seemingly in over his head, but nevertheless helped to guide Jewell through the events that continued even after the FBI cleared his name three months later.
The story sounds like a fascinating project for the duo to take on, and I’m so looking forward to seeing Hill take on a leading role like this. Moneyball went a long way to showing mainstream audiences that he ‘can act’, having largely focused on comedy work in the past. And The Wolf of Wall Street has clearly cemented his status as an incredibly talented actor, earning another Best Supporting Actor nomination in the upcoming Oscars.
DiCaprio and Hill will both be producing as well, alongside Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Kevin Misher, and Andy Berman, with Misher bringing the article in to develop for the big screen.