Netflix whittles up a $45M deal for Ron Howard’s Hillbilly Elegy film

After engaging in the equivalent of a Hollywood Backyard Wrestling match, Netflix has emerged victorious from a recent  auction with the film rights to J.D. Vance’s bestselling novel Hillbilly Elegy. After acquiring the property for a total of $45 million smackers, the streaming giant has set CINDERELLA MAN and APOLLO 13 helmer Ron Howard as director of the project, with THE SHAPE OF WATER co-writer Vanessa Taylor in charge of the script. According to Deadline's exclusive report, the rights to Vance's novel were coveted by many, but it was Netflix who came in with a righteous haymaker, thereby leveling competitors to end the match. Interestingly enough, there are also whispers that HILLBILLY ELEGY could arrive ROMA-style, in that Howard's film could land in theaters as a bonus to its spot on Netflix.

As Netflix continues to dabble in the indie filmmaking game, it's become quite clear in recent times that the streamer means business with regard to building their library of original content. In fact, it was only last month when Netflix let fly their record-breaking Sandra Bullock starrer, BIRD BOX, a feature directed by Susanne Bier that garnered 45 million viewers during its first week online. With numbers like that, it's easy to see why Netflix is willing to throw cartoonish bags of money at big name filmmakers, especially one as lauded as Ron Howard. Here's hoping that everything comes together for HILLBILLY ELEGY, and that more unique properties come to the network in due time.

Source: Deadline Hollywood

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.