Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill both received Oscar nominations for their performances in Martin Scorsese’s true story The Wolf of Wall Street, and now the pair are keen on teaming up once again for another film based on a real-life event. Deadline reports that 20th Century Fox has acquired the rights to author Marie Brenner’s 1997 Vanity Fair article called “The Ballad of Richard Jewell,” which recounts the story of a man who was hailed as a hero for discovering a backpack bomb during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and was subsequently vilified when he became a potential suspect.
The story encapsulates the power of the 24-hour news cycle and how quickly it destroyed one man’s life, and it should make for excellent film fodder. Read on after the jump.
Per Deadline, the property will be developed for Hill to play the lead role of Jewell, while DiCaprio would fill the role of a lawyer Jewell knew casually, “a Southern attorney who mostly did real estate closings and seemed in over his head, but he guided Jewell through a hellish Twilight Zone that went on even after the FBI officially cleared Jewell’s name three months later.” This continues a string of more dramatic roles for Hill, as he recently wrapped a starring role opposite James Franco in the drama True Story. He hasn’t completely abandoned comedy altogether, though; he’ll be seen this summer opposite Channing Tatum in the sequel 22 Jump Street.
No director or screenwriter is yet attached to the untitled project, so it’s pretty early days. DiCaprio will produce via his Appian Way banner along with Hill, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, and Kevin Misher, who found the material in the first place.