In the days following the bombing, though, both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the media came to view him as a potential suspect, upending his personal and private life.
Richard Jewell, starring Paul Walter Hauser and directed by Clint Eastwood, tells the story of how Jewell became the prime suspect of the bombing, accused by the government of planting the bomb to make himself look like the hero.
Richard Jewell was an innocent man. On the one hand, Eastwood's a Hollywood legend, an actual icon, and both his work ethic (Eastwood is 89 years young this year) and wildly economic approach to filmmaking are virtually unparalleled by anyone else of the same status. And what a trailer it is.
Richard Jewell's trailer is quite engrossing and plays out like a mystery. The whole situation was a f-cking mess, and I'm not saying either the media or the Federal Bureau of Investigation should be let off the hook for this epic clusterf-ck that took an enormous toll on a private citizen.
But perhaps I'm being harsh, and perhaps Richard Jewell will turn out to be a great new addition to the Eastwood canon.
"Richard Jewell", written by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Billy Ray ("Captain Phillips") is slated to premiere in theaters on December 13.
"There is a bomb in Centennial Park. You have 30 minutes". The world is first introduced to Richard Jewell as the security guard who reports finding the device at the 1996 Atlanta bombing-his report making him a hero whose swift actions save countless lives. Soon after, Jewell (played by I, Tonya's Paul Walter Hauser) was vilified by the press and public alike, with his life left torn apart. But Bryant finds he is out of his depth as he fights the combined powers of the FBI, GBI and APD to clear his client's name, while keeping Richard from trusting the very people trying to destroy him. The first trailer for Richard Jewell shows the director working in the same "based on a true story" vein as Sully and American Sniper, the latter of which earned $350 million in 2015 along with a nomination for Best Picture.
The harrowing first trailer for Richard Jewell gives a glimpse as the star-studded ensemble, which includes Oscar winners Sam Rockwell as Watson Bryant and Kathy Bates as Richard's mom Bobi as well as Jon Hamm as the lead FBI investigator and Olivia Wilde as Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Kathy Scruggs.