The movie, released in theaters in late 2019 after premieres in Hollywood and downtown Atlanta, was a look back at one of the city’s best and worst times.
The movie was based on a Vanity Fair article and the book “The Suspect,” by longtime journalist Kevin Salwen and former federal prosecutor Kent Alexander. It was a project that director Clint Eastwood said he had “chased after for a few years.”
At the December premiere at the Rialto Center for the Arts downtown, Eastwood called it “one of the great American tragedies I have seen in my lifetime.”
Kathy Bates earned a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Bobi Jewell, Richard’s mother. Richard Jewell was played by Paul Walter Hauser. Olivia Wilde played the late Kathy Scruggs, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter who broke the news, accurate at the time, that the FBI was focusing on Jewell. Many of Scruggs’ friends and family members objected to the portrayal, which suggested that Scruggs relied on illicit assignations with sources.
The AJC was among numerous entities sued after Jewell was cleared, and the only one that didn’t settle. The litigation naming the AJC was dismissed in 2011, with the Georgia Court of Appeals concluding that the coverage was substantially true at the time of publication.
More of the AJC’s past coverage:
Columnist Bill Torpy: Wow, what you don’t know about the Richard Jewell case
AJC editor Kevin Riley: Film tries to fix one reputation, attacks another
Retired AJC journalist Bert Roughton Jr.: We must remember Richard Jewell