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Ron Howard to direct Rust Belt-inspired Hillbilly Elegy drama for Imagine

04.10.2017
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It's been announced today that legendary filmmaker Ron Howard (SPLASH, APPOLO 13, A BEAUTIFUL MIND) will direct and produce a present-day economic drama based on the best-selling memoir by J.D. Vance entitled HILLBILLY ELEGY for Imagine Entertainment. Co-producing alongside Howard is Imagine Entertainment chairman Brian Grazer and the company's president, Erica Huggins. Additionally, Julie Oh will oversee the film as a representative of Imagine.

Vance's book tells of the trials and tribulations in relation to his growing up as a part of America's white working class while living in the nation's Rust Belt (a term for the region of the United States from the Great Lakes to the upper Midwest ). Focusing in on the struggles of drug addiction, as well as the region's social and economical challenges. In the memoir, Vance recalls his days of being raised by his grandmother, and the journey of seeking a better education to help overcome the burdens of poverty and cultural restraint. 

In speaking about the book, Erica Huggins stated, "‘Hillbilly Elegy’ is a powerful, true coming-of-age memoir by JD Vance. Through the lens of a colorful, chaotic family, and with remarkable compassion and self-awareness, JD has been able to look back on his own upbringing as a ‘hillbilly’ to illuminate the plight of America’s white working class, speaking directly to the turmoil of our current political climate.”

As of the moment, HILLBILLY ELEGY has yet to find a writer, though the project is moving steadily along despite this essential piece to the puzzle. While I admit that I have little to no interest in this film, I'm sure that there are plenty out there who will. Howard has proven himself time again throughout the years to be a remarkable filmmaker, and there's no telling what manner of magic he'll be able to work over on Vance's tale of work-related woe. 

While you're waiting for more details concerning this film, why not check out Howard's latest documentary THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK - THE TOURING YEARS, which was released on September 16, 2016

Extra Tidbit: Following several "boom" periods from the late-19th to the mid-20th century, cities in the Rust Belt area struggled to adapt to a variety of adverse economic and social conditions. They include the decline of the iron and steel industry, the movement of manufacturing to the southeastern states with their lower labor costs, the layoffs due to the rise of automation in industrial processes, the decreased need for labor in making steel products, the internationalization of American business, and the liberalization of foreign trade policies due to globalization.
Source: Variety

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6:52AM on 04/11/2017
Hillbilly Elegy sounds interesting. I have partially lived the life presented in the book. And, I have lived in the Upper Midwest for many years. A person is curious how master director Howard will bring "our" daily lives to life on the big screen. One hopes that he does so with the same heart and intelligence as most of his movies.

Perhaps, Tom Hanks or Chris Hemsworth could play an everyman in the Hillbilly Elegy.
Hillbilly Elegy sounds interesting. I have partially lived the life presented in the book. And, I have lived in the Upper Midwest for many years. A person is curious how master director Howard will bring "our" daily lives to life on the big screen. One hopes that he does so with the same heart and intelligence as most of his movies.

Perhaps, Tom Hanks or Chris Hemsworth could play an everyman in the Hillbilly Elegy.
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5:09PM on 04/10/2017
Of course you have no interest you're an elitist with no interest in the common blue collar working society.
Of course you have no interest you're an elitist with no interest in the common blue collar working society.
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11:49AM on 04/11/2017
Agreed. However if the race roles were reversed and you took out "hillbilly" and inserted "black" or "ghetto" the white liberals would fawn over the story and declare it an instant Oscar winner even without it being written yet. Guaranteed.
Agreed. However if the race roles were reversed and you took out "hillbilly" and inserted "black" or "ghetto" the white liberals would fawn over the story and declare it an instant Oscar winner even without it being written yet. Guaranteed.
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