Clint Eastwood eyeing to direct The Ballad of Richard Jewell

Veteran actor and director Clint Eastwood is in talks to direct Disney/Fox's film The Ballad of Richard Jewell. The movie is based on the life of Richard Jewell, the security guard who had sounded alert after discovering a bomb at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The bomb did go off and claimed the life of a person while injuring several others. Jewell was later under the media spotlight after he emerged as one of the possible suspects in bombing.

He was vilified and painted as a terrorist. But he was cleared as a suspect three months later. He died at the age of 44 in 2007. If finalised, the film will be Eastwood's first directorial project, since 2008's "Changeling", to be set up outside his home base Warner Bros.

According to Variety, screenwriter Billy Ray is penning the script, based on a Marie Brenner article in Vanity Fair. At one point, actors Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio were originally attached to star in the project with Ezra Edelman as the director.

Edelman is no longer associated with film while the two actors will only be serving as producers. Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Kevin Misher of DiCaprio's Appian Way banner will also produce the project.