Hollywood loves a happy ending. So it should come as no surprise to learn that three studios are battling for the movie rights to Olympic security-guard-turned-bombing suspect Richard Jewell.

Jewell said his life was ruined by the news media and FBI, which had all but convicted him as a small-time terrorist before any charges were ever filed. He was finally cleared by the Justice Department in late October. "I lived a nightmare," he said at the time, "I thank God that is now ended, and that you know now what I have known all along. I am an innocent man."

Now, according to Daily Variety, a unit of 20th Century Fox is close to signing a "mid-six-figure deal" for Jewell's story, along with the stories of his mom Bobi, his legal team and "American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell," an article in the February issue of Vanity Fair.

Fox 2000 has reportedly outbid HBO and Sony's TriStar to claim the rights to the ex-guard's posse, says Daily Variety The studio was said to have promised Jewell a feature--not just a TV movie. A Fox spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

Jewell's attorneys say they would be eager to see a feature film showing how the beleaguered guard went from a hero ushering people away from the bomb site, to prime suspect and media target, to his ultimate vindication. They hired a Hollywood agent and gave Jewell's story to Vanity Fair to help their pitch. They even suggested John Goodman might want to play Jewell. "There's no question that we think the American public needs to know what happened to Richard Jewell and who did this to him," said Lin Wood, one of two civil attorneys representing him.

In December, Jewell reached an out-of-court settlement worth more than $500,000 with the NBC--one of the first and most vigilant of Jewell's accusers.

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