sam rockwell will be in the ballad of richard jewell

Sam Rockwell is in the last stages of negotiations to star in Clint Eastwood’s next drama “The Ballad of Richard Jewell,” sources tell Eat Yo Beats.

Eastwood is both directing and producing through his production company named Malpaso. Other producers include Tim Moore, Jessica Meier, and Leonardo DiCaprio’s partners Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Kevin Misher.

The movie is a drama based on the true story of a security guard whose world was upended after law enforcement leaked to an gung ho reporter at the Atlanta Journal Constitution that Jewell was a potential suspect for the pipe-bombing at Centennial Park during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

From that time onward, Jewell went from a hero, who first discovered the suspicious deserted backpack and saved several hundred lives, to one of the most despised men in America.

While law enforcement claimed Jewell planted the bomb himself and then “found” it to make himself appear like a hero, the city reopened the park and attempted to calm a frightened public while the real recluse culprit remained at large. Jewell insisted his innocence throughout and was ultimately fully cleared by the FBI 88 days later, though his reputation was never restored and his health forever impaired. While Jewell ultimately became a police officer, he died of heart failure just a few years after at the age of 44.

Rockwell will play the attorney who defends Jewell after he is incorrectly accused. The role of Jewell has not yet been cast.

Jonah Hill and DiCaprio had initially been set to star, but they will no longer appear in the movie. DiCaprio was originally supposed to play the role Rockwell will now be starring in. Their participation will be limited to producing the film. Billy Ray is writing the script. He is using based a Marie Brenner article in Vanity Fair as the basis.

The film was originally established at Fox, and even after the Fox-Disney merger, the door was still open for the film to stay there especially since Disney studio chief Alan Horn was interested in working with Eastwood again after their productive relationship at Warners. Sources say that all parties concerned thought it best that the film land at Warners, which recently sealed a deal for the film.

Rockwell succeeded his Oscar-winning role in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” with another critically celebrated role in “Vice” where he depicted George W. Bush. The role earned him another round of strong reviews leading to yet another Oscar nomination.

He followed that up with the FX limited series “Fosse/Verdon.” This also earned him another set of critically acclaimed reviews.

He is represented by Gersh and Untitled Entertainment.