Ezra Edelman is looking to tackle another true-life tale at the intersection of justice and modern media.
EW has confirmed the director and producer of the acclaimed documentary O.J.: Made in America is in negotiations to direct Fox’s feature film about Richard Jewell, the man whose life was upended when he was wrongly accused of being the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bomber.
Jonah Hill is attached to play Jewell, who was working a temporary job as a security guard at the 26th Olympiad when he discovered a backpack bomb and helped to clear bystanders from the area. The bomb exploded, killing one person and injuring more than 100, and though Jewell was initially hailed as a hero, he soon found himself branded the chief suspect in a very public investigation.
Jewell’s life became grist for the emerging 24-hour news cycle, and even though he was finally cleared months later, he felt his name and reputation had been permanently tarnished. He died of severe heart disease in 2007, at age 44.
Edelman would direct from a script by Billy Ray (Captain Phillips), based on Marie Brenner’s 1997 Vanity Fair article “The Ballad of Richard Jewell.” Hill is producing alongside Leonardo DiCaprio — who previously circled a role as Jewell’s attorney but will not costar after all — as well as Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Kevin Misher.
The Jewell movie would mark Edelman’s narrative directing debut. His previous credits include Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals and two episodes of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series.
Deadline first reported the news.