Richard Jewell Movie Poster

Trivia for Richard Jewell

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  • Originally, this movie was to be directed by Paul Greengrass, but he dropped out to do Jason Bourne (2016). David O. Russell was eventually approached for the project, but a deal never developed. It would be two years until April 2015, Clint Eastwood began to circle the project as his follow up to Sully (2016), but Eastwood chose another in-development project, The 15:17 to Paris (2018), to helm instead. In December 2016, Ezra Edelman, an Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker signed on to helm the project for his first directorial narrative feature film, but dropped out in late 2018 after not getting it off the ground. In May 2019, Clint Eastwood signed back on to direct.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio was once eyeing a role in this movie as a southern lawyer while it was in development, but has since dropped out for other projects, but remained as a producer.
  • It marks as the second time a 1990's article written by journalist Marie Brenner was turned into a movie. The first one being The Insider (1999).
  • This movie was originally set-up at Twentieth Century Fox, but after the Walt Disney Company acquired Fox's movie and television entertainment assets in March 2019, they passed on the project, and Warner Brothers acquired the rights. This continues Clint Eastwood's longtime relationship with the studio.
  • Nicolas Cage was being considered for a part.
  • Jonah Hill was originally attached to play the title role. He remains on the film as a producer.
  • Filming of the concerts and bombing scenes took place in the same location as the original incident site of Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park.
  • Richard Jewell's attorney arrangements for an ex-FBI to administer a polygraph exam. Jewell passed it.
  • An innocent person suffering an unjust persecution by media and/or authority figures, like the protagonist of this movie, is a recurring theme in Clint Eastwood 's filmography, also seen in True Crime (1999), Mystic River (2003), Changeling (2008) and Sully (2016).
  • The Atlanta-Constitution Journal, a Georgia newspaper which played a leading role in the 1996 media frenzy over Richard Jewell, has taken issue with this film's dramatic license in regards to their star reporter Kathy Scruggs. The Journal insists both Scruggs's reporting and their newspaper's coverage of Jewell were ethical and beyond reproach. The newspaper particularly objects to the implication that Scruggs used sexual favors to obtain scoops.
  • The second time Jon Hamm has been directed by Clint Eastwood. His very first film role was in Eastwood's Space Cowboys (2000).
  • Slate reported that during the period in which the real Richard Jewell was fodder for ridicule from many comedians and commentators, late-night host Jay Leno mocked Jewell by comparing him to "the guy who whacked Nancy Kerrigan" (meaning Tonya Harding's erstwhile "bodyguard" Shawn Eckardt). Paul Walter Hauser, who plays Richard Jewell in this movie, also played Shawn Eckardt in I, Tonya (2017).
  • WSB Channel 2 news footage is with the real Richard Jewell that originally aired.
  • Stephen King Connection: Kathy Bates who plays Bobi Jewell also played Annie Wilkes on Misery (1990). While Sam Rockwell who plays Watson Bryant played 'Wild Bill' Wharton on The Green Mile (1999)
  • In one scene Watson (Sam Rockwell) is questioning Richard (Paul Walter Hauser) and one of the questions is whether Richard is friends with any KKK members, which he denies. On the movie BlacKkKlansman (2018) Paul Walter Hauser's character "Ivanhoe" is not only friends with KKK members, but he is one
  • On the stage at the concert, it says AT&T welcomes the world, AT&T own Warner Media
  • All of the Atlanta Olympic Games logos in the film are missing the 5 rings. The International Olympic Committee denied the use of the rings for copyright protection and to "protect the use of the iconic emblem".
  • The "Quilt if Origins" statue used in the film is an exact replica of the statue located in Centennial Park. The actual statue was located about 100 yards east of the replica during filming.
  • Filming of the bombing scene was done on the 23rd anniversary of the original bombing. Most scenes were filmed on the same dates of the 1996 Olympics, 23 years later.
  • Bobbi Jewell asked that the Kenny Rogers concert be included in the film, as she is a huge fan.
  • One of the movie's source material is "The Suspect," a book co-authored by Kent Alexander (then U.S. attorney for the northern district of Georgia) and Kevin Salwen (an Atlanta-based editor for the Wall Street Journal in the 1990s). Reporter Kathy Scruggs never disclosed the name of her source, but the authors of the book did. According to "The Suspect," lead FBI agent Don Johnson fed the leak to the reporter. In the movie, the lead FBI agent is given the fictitious name Tom Shaw.
  • In real life, reporter Kathy Scruggs struggled with depression and a reliance on prescription medications. She died of an overdose in 2001.
  • During the scene when Richard first meets Watson Bryant there is a name placard on an office cubicle over his shoulder that reads "Stephen S. Campanelli". Campanelli is the Steadicam operator on the film and he's operated Steadicam on all of Clint's films since "The Bridges of Madison County".
  • Absence of Malice (1981) also featured a story in which a reporter played by Sally Field engages in a romantic liaison. In that movie, she had an affair with the suspect.
  • Another movie, A Cry in the Dark (1988), dealt with a similar story of a wife and husband who were falsely accused and sent to prison for murdering their baby. This Australian film was based upon a true story and showed how the media turned the public against the parents. Ultimately, law enforcement discovered that the child was killed in a dingo attack. Meryl Streep was nominated for Best Actress for her role as the mother.
  • Paul Walter Hauser gained 25 pounds for the role.
  • A cut scene from the original screenplay showed Jay Leno mentioning Richard Jewell in his monologue as bearing "a scary resemblance to the guy who whacked Nancy Kerrigan - meaning Shawn Eckhardt, whom Paul Walter Hauser also played in I, Tonya (2017) - another film about an Olympics-related crime.

Spoilers

  • It's the third time Jon Hamm plays an FBI agent, the first time playing one in The Town (2010) and the second time playing an FBI agent in Bad Times at the El Royale (2018).
  • The TV interviews between Katie Couric and Richard Jewell after the bombing show the real Richard Jewell interviews. The sound is replaced with voice-overs for Richard added by Paul Walter Hauser.
  • The bombing scene filming was delayed by severe thunderstorms the night it was to be shot. The production crew had a noise permit to set the explosive off before midnight however due to the delay, the explosion was set off and filmed around 4 am in the park. The park is completely surrounded by hundreds of hotel rooms.
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