After a string of big budget studio blockbusters, Jeremy Renner is set to return to the darker and more serious films that made him a two-time Oscar nominee. Deadline reports Renner will star in “Kill the Messener”, a true life thriller that will be directed by Michael Cuesta this summer.
Renner will play Gary Webb in the film written by Peter Landesman. Webb was a San Jose Mercury News reporter during the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s, who published an expose detailing the link between the CIA and Contra rebels in Nicaragua in importing and selling cocaine on the streets of California. Rather than make his career, the expose elicited harsh criticisms which rendered Webb unable to find another job, sending him into a downward spiral that culminated in his suicide in 2004. The film seeks to validate Webb’s side of the story by proposing his findings were correct and he was the victim of a smear campaign in order to hide the CIA’s more morally ambiguous actions taken in the name of the greater good.
After critical success and Oscar nominations following supporting performances in “The Hurt Locker” and “The Town”, Renner moved into the mainstream in rapid succession by starring in “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”, “The Avengers”, “The Bourne Legacy” and the currently playing “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.” It’s become rather clear, however, he’s much better in more prestigious, intimate films that really showcase his acting. There are no more blockbusters on his plate for the foreseeable future (minus an “Avengers” sequel or two). Instead, he has dramas like James Gray’s “Lowlife” and David O. Russell’s untitled Abscam film (previously titled “American Bullshit”) coming down the pike.