Why Clint Eastwood Has Been Making So Many Films Based On True Stories Lately

If Clint Eastwood pursued an acting career alone, he’d be the most legendary gunslinger in the history of spaghetti westerns. But, he didn’t stop there. Over the past five decades, Eastwood has established himself as an impressive director that have mirrored his on-screen success. Between his projects such as American Sniper, The Mule or the upcoming Richard Jewell, the actor/director has primarily helmed movies that are “based on a true story”.

Ahead of the release of biographical drama Richard Jewell, CinemaBlend’s own Jeff McCobb sat down with Clint Eastwood to talk about this “true stories” trend. Check out what he said:

Sounds like it’s not as decisive of a choice than one might expect. During the Richard Jewell press day, Clint Eastwood explained that the slew of bio dramas have been brought to his attention and fallen into his lap rather than him seeking them out specifically. But, considering the director’s flair for a grounded movie, it checks out that writers adapting true events to film would approach Eastwood for the job.

Since the start of the century, Clint Eastwood started helming more realistic movies that could believably be “true stories” but were actually fiction. Space Cowboys, Mystic River or Million Dollar Baby could convince some of being actual stories. It was films such as this that likely led the director to branch out into telling true stories through film such as American Sniper, Sully, The 15:17 To Paris and The Mule. He has also moved into directing more exclusively.

Richard Jewell is about the Olympic Park bombing that happened in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1996 Summer Olympics. The movie is titled after the name of the security guard (played by Paul Walter Hauser) who found the bomb and alerted the authorities, saving many lives. However, he later became a suspect of the bombing for three months.

The Olympic Park bombing, which left one person dead and 100 injured has recently been subject to controversy over Olivia Wilde’s depiction of the late Atlanta-Journal Constitution reporter Kathy Scruggs in the movie. In the movie, the reporter who co-wrote the article that began suspicions over Jewell’s innocence is seen offering sex in exchange for information. The newspaper has called this “defamatory and damaging” to Scruggs’ character.

Richard Jewell also stars Sam Rockwell, Jon Hamm and Kathy Bates, who scored a Golden Globe nomination for her role earlier this week in the Clint Eastwood film as Richard’s mother Bobi Jewell. The movie is getting positive buzz from critics so far, with an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The new Clint Eastwood bio drama opens this Friday, December 13 alongside other new releases: Jumanji: The Next Level, Black Christmas and Uncut Gems.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.