Clint Eastwood Brings Richard Jewell To The Big Screen

Jewell was the security guard who discovered the bomb at the 1996 Olympics

Terri Lee-Sylvester
December 13, 2019 - 8:00 am
(Center Left-Center Right) PAUL WALTER HAUSER as Richard Jewell, ALAN HECKNER as Bill Miller and ALEX COLLINS as Max Green in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “RICHARD JEWELL,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Photo Credit: Claire Folger


DETROIT (WWJ) - The story of Richard Jewell took everyone by surprise.  First, he was hailed as a hero for discovering an explosive device at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.  But, that title was stripped away when he was accused of planting the bomb in Centennial Park.  What led to the turnabout is exactly what's at the heart of this movie. 
Jewell, who died in 2007 at the age of 44, was a mild-mannered security guard.  His main goal in life was to work in law enforcement.  After getting fired from his job at a university for being too overzealous, he was hired to help provide security for the Olympic Games.  When Jewell notices a suspicious backpack, he alerts authorities.  But, while the bomb was in the process of being disarmed, it explodes, sending shrapnel flying.  Two people died as a result and more than 100 others were injured.

The FBI identified Jewell as a suspect and the media immediately jumped on the story. Kathy Scruggs, a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was first to break the news. After Jewell is publicly identified as a suspect, his entire world is upended.  Watson Bryant, Jewell's friend and the only lawyer he knows, helps him fight back.

SAM ROCKWELL as Watson Bryant in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “RICHARD JEWELL,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Photo Credit: Claire Folger

This movie comes 23 years after the bombing.  It's based on a 1997 Vanity Fair article written by Marie Brenner, who said the story had a profound effect on her; so much so that seeking justice for Jewell became her mission. 

"Richard Jewell" stars Oscar winners Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) as attorney Watson Bryant and Kathy Bates (“Misery,” TV’s “American Horror Story”) as Richard’s mom, Bobi; Jon Hamm (“Baby Driver”) as lead FBI investigating agent Tom Shaw (a fictionalized character); Olivia Wilde (“Life Itself”) as reporter Kathy Scruggs; and Paul Walter Hauser (“I, Tonya”) as Richard Jewell.  It was  produced and directed by Clint Eastwood and is rated R.

Count this movie as another Eastwood gem; one I highly recommend.

See you at the movies!

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