Clint Eastwood is crashing the awards-season party with his next movie, Richard Jewell, now playing at Regal. Partnering up with Warner Bros. Pictures yet again, Eastwood made his intent to put out for an Oscar® clear as he premiered his latest project, which has already created some buzz as a last-minute Oscar® contender, at the AFI festival in Los Angeles on November 20th.
Similar to last year’s The Mule—which also made an 11th hour break into the awards slot—and some of his other titles including Sully (2016), The 15:17 to Paris (2018), and Oscar®-nominee American Sniper (2014), Eastwood’s Richard Jewell is based on the gritty true story of a good man caught in a bad situation. Starring BlacKkKlansman’s (2019) Paul Walter Hauser in the titular role, the movie follows the real-life security guard who risked his life to save hundreds of people from a bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. When Jewell is charged as a possible suspect of the bombing, his life turns to chaos. Though he was found innocent a staggering 88 days later, his reputation was completely destroyed and his health permanently damaged.
Watson Bryant (Sam Rockwell), Bobi Jewell (Kathy Bates) and Richard Jewell (Paul Walter Hauser) in Richard Jewell (2019)
“Clint Eastwood is an American icon,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO in an official statement. “It is an honor for AFI to premiere this next chapter in his storied career—one that continues to enrich the nation’s cultural legacy with undeniable impact.” With his latest true story, Eastwood is proud to introduce us to yet another overlooked piece of American social history.
Alongside Paul Walter Hauser, we find Sam Rockwell as Jewell’s attorney Watson Bryant, Kathy Bates as his mother Bobi Jewell, as well as performances by Jon Hamm, and Olivia Wilde. In the movie’s early stages, however, Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio had originally been cast to star, with DiCaprio on board to play the role of Bryant and Hill to take on the titular role. But as production neared, the two actors stepped aside to have their roles taken over by Rockwell and Hauser but remained on the project as producers.
Clint Eastwood and Paul Walter Hauser for Richard Jewell (2019)
With awards season already approaching, we all eagerly await to see if Richard Jewell will secure director and Hollywood veteran Clint Eastwood a fifth Oscar®. See it for yourself, and cast your votes.