'I, Tonya' Breakout Paul Walter Hauser To Lead Clint Eastwood's 'The Ballad Of Richard Jewell'

Depending on your perspective this news is either disappointing or totally expected from a Clint Eastwood movie of late. Following the recent casting of Sam Rockwell in Leonardo DiCaprio's former role in The Ballad of Richard Jewell, Clint Eastwood has set Paul Walter Hauser as the title character. The role had previously belonged to Jonah Hill.

Hauser isn't a known commodity but he was a scene stealer as the dopey Shawn Eckhardt in I, Tonya and has been busy ever since. He can be seen right now as one of the many white male writers Mindy Kaling faces off with in Late Night. He also played a KKK member in Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman.  So this might be considered a step down but for Eastwood it makes sense, as he's often favored casting lesser-known actors in his films.

Just from a physical perspective Hauser more than fits the bill, but he's also a solid actor who could really make something out of this opportunity. Jewell was the security guard at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics who saw his life ruined when he was falsely reported to be a suspect in the Olympic Park bombing. The truth is that Jewell first discovered the suspicious package and helped with the evacuation efforts. Rockwell will play the attorney who stood by his side while his name was being dragged through the mud. [THR]