Look, it’s some awards season synergy that goes beyond awkwardly clinking glasses at some random after party! Three of this year’s Oscar nominees are now teaming up for a new project that (although we’re loath to admit it this early in the year) might be in the running the next time Oscar season ramps up.
Variety reports that screenwriter Billy Ray, fresh off his Oscar nom for Captain Phillips (and his WGA win), is teaming up with a pair of other nominees – Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill – for yet another fact-based film, based on the story of accused Atlanta Olympics bomber Richard Jewell. DiCaprio and Hill were, of course, nominated this year for their performances in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street (also a true life tale), so this should be familiar territory for all three talents.
Ray will script The Ballad of Richard Jewell from Marie Brenner’s 1997 Vanity Fair article of the same name. The “article follows a security guard who reported on the knapsack bomb at the 1996 summer Olympics and helped clear bystanders — only to find himself vilified and suspected of being involved in the terrorism plot.” Both DiCaprio and Hill will star in the film, with Hill set to play Jewell and DiCaprio on board to play a lawyer who tries to clear his client’s name. The pair will also produce the feature.
As Variety notes, both Hill and DiCaprio have very full plates right now, so it’s unclear when they will actually start filming Ballad, though the feature appears to be “a major priority” for home studio Fox.
If you’d like to get a jumpstart on the project in the comfort of your own home, you can read Brenner’s Vanity Fair piece right here.
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