EXCLUSIVE: Rosemarie DeWitt is in final negotiations to play the female lead in Kill The Messenger, the true-story thriller about journalist Gary Webb, a San Jose Mercury News reporter who committed suicide after being the target of a smear campaign when he linked the CIA to a scheme to arm Contra rebels in Nicaragua and import cocaine into California. Jeremy Renner will play Webb, and Michael Cuesta is directing the Peter Landesman script. Focus Features acquired the pic in February and is releasing it worldwide. Rehearsals start next month. Landesman, Renner’s shingle The Combine, Scott Stuber’s Bluegrass Films and Naomi Despres are producing. On the film side, DeWitt recently starred opposite Matt Damon and John Krasinski in Focus’ Promised Land and in the Sundance pic Touch Feely from writer-director Lynn Shelton, starring as a massage therapist who suddenly develops an aversion to human touch. DeWitt is repped by CAA and Wishlab Inc.