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Sam Rockwell and Paul Walter Hauser join Clint Eastwood's Richard Jewell movie

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Story by Jack Foley

SAM Rockwell and Paul Walter Hauser have joined the cast of Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell movie.

Originally set up in 2014 at Twentieth Century Fox, the project, now titled The Ballad of Richard Jewell, has moved studios and is now at Eastwood’s long-time home, Warner Bros.

The film will follow the true story of Richard Jewell, who was working as a security guard at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta when he discovered a backpack containing pipe bombs. He subsequently sounded the alarm and helped to clear the area.

Bur the bomb did detonate, killing one person and injuring dozens of others.

Initially hailed as a hero, Jewell soon became the prime suspect, as the FBI searched his home twice. A media frenzy then painted him as an overweight failed cop and mother’s boy, and he became the punchline for late-night jokes.

Jewell was eventually cleared of any involvement, and the FBI and other government agencies did eventually apologise to him following a number of law suits, but the damage was done. Jewell died in 2007 at the age of 44 due to health issues linked to his weight.

The film has been in development for some time and was, at one time, to have starred Jonah Hill as Jewell, with Leonardo DiCaprio attached to play his attorney. Both of those actors remain on board as producers.

Hauser will now take the lead as Jewell, having stood out as a racist in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman.

He next appears opposite Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson in acclaimed comedy Late Night, and is also currently a part of YouTube’s streaming cult hit Cobra Kai.

Hauser also had a standout role as Nancy Kerrigan’s attacker in I, Tonya and recently wrapped Netflix’s Da 5 Bloods, which reunited him with Lee.

Rockwell, who won an Oscar for his performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, is in talks to play Jewell’s attorney.

The film’s script, penned by Billy Ray, is based on the Vanity Fair article The Ballad of Richard Jewell written by Marie Brenner.