Filmmaker Michael Cuestra has his Kill The Messenger leading man Jeremy Renner to thank for helping him see sense over a planned "piece of c**p" horror movie he was planning to direct.

Cuestra reveals he was on the crest of a wave after the critical success of his first film L.I.E. in 2001 when he signed on to take charge of a scary movie he refuses to mention.

He says, "The studio sent me a horror project and it was 2004 and I was in L.A. and Jeremy Renner comes in and he was not gonna read; he had seen my first film and he liked it a lot... He just wanted to meet me.

"He said he had no interest in being in the horror film and added, 'I have to ask you. I saw your first film. Why are you doing this movie?' I didn't really have an answer. He made me re-examine why I was doing the project. It was just a job.

"I did wake up one night and say, 'What am I doing? I'm making a piece of c**p', and I pulled out of the project. So I do credit Jeremy for that."

In the new Cuestra film, Renner portrays investigative reporter Gary Webb, who became the target of a vicious smear campaign that drove him to the point of suicide after exposing the Cia's role in arming Contra rebels.