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Disney is still figuring things out when it comes to the new Fox studio that the company now owns. There were many projects in various stages of development, and it's likely that not all of them will continue moving forward. However, one project that looks like it may have a chance at life is The Ballad of Richard Jewell and Clint Eastwood is looking at directing.
The Ballad of Richard Jewell was already a project under consideration under the previous 20th Century Fox administration. It now belongs to the new Disney/Fox and Clint Eastwood has been in talks with the new studio about helming the film.
Not every Fox project is doing as well under the new guard. Wes Ball's Mouse Guard, which was very near going into active production, was just stopped by Disney/Fox. The project may get picked up elsewhere, but the new company is already making the call to close down projects it doesn't want. This project, especially if Clint Eastwood does agree to direct, looks to be one Disney/Fox wants to move forward with.
The Ballad of Richard Jewell is based on a Vanity Fair news article of the same name about Richard Jewell, who was a security guard during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics who recognized a suspicious package, which turned out to be a bomb, and saved many people in the process. However, after the events were over Jewell was looked at as a possible suspect. This information became public and Jewell's life was turned upside down. While he was eventually exonerated, his life, and health, were never the same and he died of heart failure at the age of 44.
The Ballad of Richard Jewell is a project that's been around for a while. The script was written by Billy Ray, who previous wrote Captain Philips. Several years ago, Jonah Hill was attached to star as Richard Jewell and Leonardo DiCaprio was considering coming on board to play Jewell's lawyer and friend. Paul Greengrass had considered taking on directing the project, but it never went anywhere. Deadline reports that Eastwood would be looking to put together his own cast with an eye toward beginning production as early as this summer.
Richard Jewell feels like just the sort of character that would be of interest to Clint Eastwood. Many of his recent directorial projects have been stories based on real people. Sully, 15:17 to Paris, American Sniper, and even Eastwood's most recent film, The Mule, in which he also starred, were all based on real people. Clearly, there's an interest in dramatizing these real events and the story surrounding Richard Jewell is one that certainly lends itself to drama.
If The Ballad of Richard Jewell does go into production this summer we could see it as early as the first half of 2020. Although, on paper, this one could have the potential to be an awards contender, which would likely give it a late 2020 release.
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