Clint Eastwood does things his own way. For instance: filmmakers have been attempting in vain to make a movie out of the shocking true story of Richard Jewell for the past five years. Along comes Eastwood, and suddenly the project’s on the fast track, from a June principal shooting date to a release in December.
The first trailer for the film simply titled Richard Jewell has surfaced to prove that Eastwood’s really done it, having completed the film in record time. It looks pretty polished for a rush job, too, with a handful of flashy performances and big action set pieces.
Paul Walter Hauser — so wonderfully dim as a co-conspirator in I, Tonya — leads as Richard Jewell, a security guard working for AT&T at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Jewell discovered a bomb in a densely populated site and reacted professionally, warning everyone nearby and evacuating the area; law enforcement wasn’t so sure, however.
Eastwood’s film focuses on the trial by media that took place in the wake of the incident, as the authorities (represented here by Jon Hamm and Olivia Wilde) started looking into Jewell as a suspect in the bombing he foiled, and the public quickly turned on the guy. His life transformed into a three-ring circus due to irresponsible or even outright false reportage, giving Eastwood the opportunity for a broadside against his favorite perennial enemy, the media.
Eastwood’s well-known conservative streak runs strong through the trailer, as big government threatens the little man in a fashion similar to that of his recent Sully. So long as Eastwood continues to draw breath, he’ll keep making movies, and so long as he’s making movies, he’ll fight the institutional powers that be.
Richard Jewell comes to cinemas in the US on 13 December. A date for the UK has yet to be set.
Published 3 Oct 2019
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