Who Is Richard Jewell and Why Are Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill Making a Film About Him?

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The strange and intriguing story of Richard Jewell, who both foiled an Olympic bomb plot and became suspected of planting it soon after, is to be translated to the big screen as The Wolf of Wall Street stars, Leonardo Dicaprio and Jonah Hill combine once more.

Leonardo DiCaprioJonah Hill
Leo and Jonah are combining once again

The Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia would become the start of a tumultuous time for the press officer, who, having discovered a backpack stuffed with three pipe bombs, alerted police and aided evacuation of the area saving hundreds of lives. Jewell was a hero.

The bomb took the life of Alice Hawthorne and injured over one hundred others. Bizarrely, a cameraman also died of a heart attack while running to try and cover the incident.

Jewell was then the subject of a media witch-hunt, with many accusing him of planting the bomb, after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed that the FBI was treating him as a possible suspect, based largely on a "lone bomber" criminal profile.

He was also accused by two of the victims of the bomb, who actually filed lawsuits against him, based simply on the basis of media reports. He was never charged, but the FBI searched his house twice and questions friends, relatives and acquaintances.

Jonah Hill's Donnie Azoff meets Leonardo DiCaprio's Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street

In October 1996, Jewell was exonerated after the investigating US Attorney, Kent Alexander, sent Jewell a letter formally clearing him. The letter read:"based on the evidence developed to date ... Richard Jewell is not considered a target of the federal criminal investigation into the bombing on July 27, 1996, at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta".

Jewell subsequently took many of the media outlets that accused hom to court, stating money was never the incentive, rather clearing his name. Jonah Hill, who is nominated for his supporting role as Donnie Azoff in The Wolf of Wall Street, will play the part of Jewell. In a reversal, DiCaprio will play the support role as the Jewell’s lawyer and friend. The film is to is based on this Vanity Fair article.


Tags: Leonardo Dicaprio - Jonah Hill - Richard Jewell

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